Whether you're planning on hosting a conference or a fancy corporate dinner, in order to really cap off your event, you'll need a keynote speaker. Most major conferences and events have keynote speakers but few people actually understand what it means to be a keynote speaker - even some of the people who have been asked to BE the keynote speaker! This article should help clear up the confusion.
Most people understand keynote speakers to be the people who give the big speech at the beginning of a conference. But being a keynote speaker is about much more than when your speech occurs. Keynote speakers are expected to set the tone of the event (hence the name key note) and sum up the message or purpose in a way that is both entertaining and readily understandable. Famous keynote speakers are often used to attract attendees to the conference.
Though most organizations tend to choose the most famous experts in their fields to give the keynote address, the key speaker at your conference doesn't need to be a building contractor. The point of the speech is not necessarily to convey new information - conference lecturers can do that - it's to establish the theme and get everyone excited. Therefore the best choice for a keynote speaker is someone dynamic who has to research your topic rather than a dry expert who will bore your audience to sleep.
If you have been asked to give a keynote speech, before you accept you should know that a typical keynote address lasts for 45 to 60 minutes. So ask yourself - can you speak about "the CleanTek rotary drum screen and how it helps the industry" for that long? Do you have enough to say that you can keep an audience interested for almost an hour? If you can, the rewards can be great - you will achieve notoriety in your field and receive a hefty fee for your services. There are professional keynote speakers who live very well off the proceeds of their engagements.
Because keynote speeches are meant to get everyone excited about the conference, they shouldn't be a simple dry recitation of facts or statistics. Most keynote speakers include jokes, presentations, videos, jokes, songs, audience participation, or even surprise revelations to keep the interest of the audience. So if you've been asked to be the keynote speaker, it's a good idea to start collecting funny stories and putting together entertaining slides to augment your speech and give it a little kick of fun. Remember: people should leave the room with more energy, not less.