Should the CEO deliver the Keynote at your event

by | Feb 24, 2022 | Business Growth

Should the CEO deliver the Keynote

Should the CEO deliver the keynote at your event? It’s a big question, and one this article explores.

Apparently, but for the people you meet and the information you absorb, you will be the same person 5 years from now. Now imagine limits being put on who you meet and how much information you get to absorb…

As a speaker agency, we often get new enquiries from very enthusiastic event organisers, excited to be putting together an event for their team or company. They are thrilled to have the responsibility for putting together an uplifting event for the people around them. They’re energised by the prospect of finding an inspiring speaker and the possibilities of what they can deliver in their keynote.

A dangerous change of heart…

After hearing their brief, considering the options with them and matching them to an outstanding speaker, they’ll go off to speak to the decision-maker in the company. After a brief wait, we’ll often hear the same objection. Can you guess what it is?

The objection is this: “The CEO has decided to give the keynote”. When we hear this, we sense the disappointment in the event organiser. They were excited to bring in someone with a fresh perspective, new stories, new methods, new insights, and more. But their enthusiasm has been squashed. Their excitement is gone and their energy is deflated. Imagine that same sense, now rippling out companywide…

If that’s how the event organiser feels this way, should the CEO give the keynote?

For a moment, just imagine what happens when that deflated feeling the event organiser feels is multiplied by every person in the organisation attending the conference. Imagine the undercurrent, same speaker, same message and an uninspired feeling.

As an agency, when we hear the CEO is going to deliver the keynote we know the organisation has chosen to limit themselves to who and what they know. It likely means the CEO doesn’t want outside input. It means the opportunity for something new is going to be missed by every person in that organisation. It means people’s growth is going to be limited. It means the company is going to be limited. It means little or nothing will change in that company. It usually means that morale in the team will be equal to, or lower than morale prior to the event.

Why you MUST seek an outside speaker for your company conference

These days the world changes faster than ever. With advances in tech and how we communicate, change that would previously have taken decades can now happen almost overnight. If you are not keeping up, you will be left behind.

If you look at the changes in the world since 2020, you’ll see huge advancements in AI and tech. You’ll see huge shifts in how people think as individuals following COVID. Culturally we’ve seen greater awareness in climate change, diversity, inclusion and equality, and in mental health. People are also considering who they work for with over 40% looking to change jobs as a result of the Great Resignation.

While many CEO’s are heroes, with vast knowledge, they are not experts in all the subject matters that really count today. While many CEO’s are excellent at presenting and good at public speaking they are not usually professional speakers, with cross-sector experience and knowledge.

What do you miss out on, when the CEO delivers the keynote?

CEO’s are ingrained in the high-level decisions within the company. They add massive value with their expertise. Because of this, preparing and delivering an engaging, motivating, inspiring keynote that leaves people primed for action and thrilled to be part of an awesome forward-thinking company, might not feature high on their list of priorities until it is imminent. And this shows on stage, especially when you compare what the CEO can deliver, versus what a professional speaker can bring the organisation.

By deciding to bring in an outside speaker the CEO says:

  • We value our people and want to challenge them and help them learn and grow
  • We are ready to be challenged as an organisation and become (or stay as) leaders in the industry
  • We value a fresh perspective
  • We are an organisation people want to work for, because we develop people

Keynote speakers bring specific knowledge. This knowledge could be industry knowledge, cross-sector knowledge, business acumen, leadership, life knowledge, experience and more. Many keynote speakers understand the trends happening in the market or world and they invite challenge and change, that can affect personal growth and interest in a topic, industry or company.

We hope this article has helped you answer the question of: ‘Should the CEO deliver the keynote at your event?’

Stellar speakers are 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.

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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.

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