3 different depths of keynote speakers: Which one will you choose?

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Business Growth

When assessing speakers for your next event there’s something you should know…

Different speakers go to different depths, and will give your audiences very different experiences. At the booking stage, it may be hard for you to immediately put your finger on those differences, because they can be subtle, but this article will give you insights that will help you make distinctions about speakers you’ve not been able to make before…

When you book a speaker through Stellar Speakers, we want to provide you with ROI. We take ROI very seriously and what we share here will help you quickly and easily see the difference between a good speaker and a great speaker before you consider booking them.

To give you ROI, one element we consider is impact. Impact is reflected, both in who we choose to represent and the types of organisations who book our speakers.

We know that when someone books a Stellar Speaker they are serious about making an impact. We know an organisation is not just giving a topic lip service. They want to go deep. And we know this because…

Our speakers have developed a framework of keynotes, trainings and workshops that can generally be taken as deep into an organisation as required, to achieve lasting value and change.

We’ve put this article together to give you some idea of how we, at Stellar Speakers, view speaking talent. It will give you insights into who we choose to represent, and how we view the speakers on the circuit. This will help you know more about the depth of speakers available to you for your events.

The Depth of keynote speakers

We believe keynote speakers have 3 levels to the depth. As you read the 3 levels of depth below, keep in mind that a speaker may have focused more on one level than another, or may be working to improve themselves in levels 2 and 3.

Level 1 – At this level a speaker will give an honest account of their life or their experiences. Depth is limited here by what they have personally come to understand through the events of their own life. Speakers at this level can be expected to provide magical moments and ideas about transformation, but they generally meet the audience at a surface level. There is a limit to their depth and a ceiling to how far they can take their stories or their keynotes. You will recognise a speaker at this level quite easily…

Many speakers at this level will refer to themselves as ‘motivational’ or ‘inspirational’ speakers. The way we view motivational and inspiration in terms of ROI and impact is like steam…

Motivation and inspiration are like steam because, when properly channeled it moves large objects like a train, but when the steam runs out the power is lost. In many cases, the impact of a motivational speaker evaporates when they leave the stage or within a few days. There is rarely any lingering substance.

Speakers at this level have a knowledge limited to their own life experiences. They have likely not invested in speaker training, and speaking is just something they can do, but not their main profession or income source.

Speakers at this level can come in all forms, personal development speakers, as well as coaches, authors, industry leaders and celebrities.

Level 2 – Speakers at this level offer greater depth. They are no longer just stating personal truths. They have examined a topic over many years of study. They have compiled data and stats as a result of working with clients or case studies either individually or in groups and they may have done further research and surveys to gather more data points. They will have collected results that give them higher levels of distinction and they have asked critical questions. Depth of this level means a level 2 speaker can give your audience a deeper experience. It means anyone booking a speaker at this level will deliver a great ROI and impact for the budget provided. Here’s how it looks…

Imagine the colour black for a moment… A level one speaker will talk about that colour. But a level two speaker will have examined the colour to the extent they can make it look grey… or blacker than before. What we are saying is this…

Level two speakers have immersed themselves in their topic. Because they know their topic, they can immerse their audience in that topic with greater depth. They know their topic so well, they could walk into a room, check the temperature of the room (where the audience is at) and adapt a keynote on the spot, if that is what would best serve the audience.

The downside of a speaker at this level, who is unrepresented, is that they can be difficult to pin down because they can be a bit disorganised. You will identify them easily once you begin talking to them and asking them to submit information to you.

The upside of speakers at this level is they can immerse the audience in something that is experiential.

Level 3 – Speakers at this level provide impact. You’ll find that it’s not just what they say, it’s how they say it. They can take a message and drive it deeply into hearts and minds of the audience, leaving a lasting impression. And they make it look easy.

Speakers at this level can take a complicated message and make it accessible to their audience. They have become brilliant communicators because they have invested in their development as a speaker. This means speakers at this level are not just subject matter experts, they are expert communicators and can simplify the complex. You will also find them easy to deal with because they have developed speaker assets and generally work with agents, because they value the ease and process an agent provides them with.

If you want to make the most of a speaker, at any level, what follows is solid advice…

How to get ROI from your speaker

The best way to get ROI from the speakers you choose is to be very clear on the theme and purpose of your event.

When you are clear on the event theme and purpose, make sure you understand your audience’s needs and wants from the event.

When you approach a speaker agency you are then properly prepared for the conversation. You know what your audience wants and needs and you have a clear theme and purpose for the event. You are then ready to explore the most impactful ways of delivering that theme and purpose, both with an agent and the proposed speaker.

The agent, and the speaker may be able to suggest extras they can deliver that will help the audience and make this an exceptional event.

This article explains more about how to get ROI from your speakers by utilising the speaker as an asset.

We believe all keynote speakers should be Stellar Speakers – able to entertain, connect with an audience and make a positive impact. As a unique speaker agency representing change-making keynote speakers, we provide expertise to help you manage your budgetary expectations and provide realistic options. We provide a preferred partner’s service base, so that partner clients get everything they need, lowering your risk as a booker of speakers, so you can make your choice about your next speaker with confidence.

Click here for more information


If your next conference is around the corner it’s time to book a consultation with Stellar Speakers.

Let us help you find the right keynote speaker to deliver timely messages, fresh themes and introduce the latest methodology and thinking.

Because our speakers are thought-leaders, industry expert and change-agents we help bring out the best in your organisation. Our passion is developing your people.

Book a Complementary
Consultation Now