Lecture: The 25 best speaker tips

You want to give an important lecture soon?

For some years now, more and more people have been looking for a way onto the big stage. However, it can take several years before you start out as a professional speaker. To help you get a better start in this exciting business, we have prepared a total of 25 tried-and-tested tips in this article, which you can use for your keynote.

Of course, it is not necessary to include all tips directly in your first keynote. It is only important that you pick out the tips that seem to make sense to you. You'll find that the ideas in this article will help you get more stage presence and better impact with your audience. So if you have to give a lecture in the near future, it will be a complete success.

Furthermore, you can download our free workbook "Keynote Presentation" here. There you will receive a template that you can use to develop your first keynote or to improve an existing presentation.

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Lecture: With these 25 speaker tips your keynote will be a blast

1. the 10-second rule

The first 10 seconds of speaking will determine whether your keynote will be a complete success. We would like to tell you about some of the ways in which you can immediately attract the attention of the audience.

Informative introduction: "Did you know? In 20 years, climate change will be responsible for many natural disasters. If we want to save the planet, we must take the initiative now."

Rhetorical question: ,,Are you tired of letting your fears run your life? Wouldn't you rather become the designer of your life and determine your own destiny?"

Personal experience: "Just 3 years ago, I couldn't pay the rent on my own. I was penniless and torn apart. Today I'd like to tell you how I found my way out of my life's crisis.

2. sure beats clever

Keep your message to the point when you speak. Speak in short sentences. Avoid nested sentences. Because on stage the motto is: Clear beats clever! Why? Clear sentences go straight to the head and stick. Here are some examples:

  • Thoughtfulness will get you ahead.
  • Redbull gives wings
  • Square. Practical. Good.
  • Are you alive or dead?
  • You'll be helped.

3. emotion instead of information

Giving a lecture is like taking the audience on a journey. On this journey the audience wants to experience feelings and not be bored with dry information. Therefore avoid making your keynote like a university lecture.

Otherwise you will quickly lose your audience. And for a speaker there is nothing worse than spectators looking blindly past him. Therefore: Include emotional elements in your keynote, because that's how you keep the attention high.

4. convey the core message

Many speakers have a tendency to get carried away when giving a lecture. While giving a lecture, they jump from topic to topic, losing sight of the core message. As a result, the audience loses orientation and thus also interest in the presentation.

As a speaker, it is therefore essential to follow a thread that leads to the core message. To help you achieve this, we have prepared a workbook that you can download now.

5. gifts & anecdotes

Stories & anecdotes are part of a good keynote. They make messages tangible during the presentation and contribute to a better identification with the content. For this reason, you should also include exciting stories and anecdotes in your keynote, in order to noticeably improve your impact on the audience.

This can be a personal story from your past that has had a special impact on you. Especially popular are "Zero-To-Hero-Stories". These are stories that describe the path from difficult circumstances to success.

Six. What's in for me?

Why do people attend lectures & seminars? Is it the speaker? For sure! But there is also another reason. The audience comes mainly because they hope for a personal benefit for their own lives.

It is therefore important for a speaker to make himself/herself less visible through his/her own successes when giving a speech. Instead, the problems of the audience should be the focus of attention and satisfactory solutions should be presented.

7. keynote architecture

A good keynote follows a clear structure. The presentation can be based on numerous methods that have proven to be effective in practice. Here is an example method: The KAUB formula is especially suitable for beginners who want to gain first experience as a keynote speaker.

The KAUB formula

Contact phase: At this point, an "icebreaker" is used to establish a relationship with the audience.

Attention phase: In this phase, the audience is slowly guided towards the topic and the key messages of the presentation.

Briefing: This is where the main part of the presentation begins. Important information is shared and clarified with appropriate exercises.

Affirmative: The keynote ends by reaffirming the core messages. The audience is encouraged to put them into practice.

8. audience interaction

The times when the speaker stood monotonously at the lectern and simply rattling off his or her content are over. Nowadays the audience expects more. This should be integrated by the speaker during the presentation. We would now like to tell you what possibilities you have for this.

Ask questions: As a keynote speaker you can involve the audience by asking questions. If you're particularly spontaneous, you can pick up on the answers and use them for further development.

Group exercises: You build up a closeness to the audience mainly through exercises. This can be a group meditation or other interactive elements.

One to one demonstration: You want to prove contents that might be viewed sceptically? Then demonstrate this with exercises on the participants.

9. make tension

Does the term "infotainment" mean anything to you? It is made up of the terms information and entertainment. Contemporary speakers use a combination of these two terms when giving a lecture, because this is the best way to pick up the audience.

For this reason, it is important to create a good atmosphere in the audience when giving a lecture. You can do this, for example, by including a motivating song in your keynote and thus animate the audience.

10. participation exercises

Earlier we mentioned how important it is to involve the audience in the presentation. At this point we would like to present 3 more join-in exercises that have proven to be particularly effective in practice.

Future Pacing: This is an exercise derived from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). The viewer is taken on a journey. The aim is to suggest to them what feelings and life they will experience when they put the contents of the lecture into practice.

Audience report: Rapport is also a term from NLP and means here the mutual connection between two people or a group of people. This can be created, for example, by the audience doing exercises among themselves, which create a sense of community.

Guided meditation: A guided meditation during a keynote can have an enormous effect on the audience. It helps to put the audience in a positive emotional state and thus leaves the lecture full of motivation in order to put the contents into practice afterwards.

11. raise energy level

A modern speaker resembles an entertainer. The latter is always characterized by a high energy level. Therefore it is also important for you as a speaker to have a high energy level which helps to carry the audience away. Here are 3 short tips on how to bring more power on stage.

Music: Create a playlist of songs that will push you and tap your energy reserves. These can be songs that you associate with positive experiences.

Sports: Don't worry! You don't have to run a marathon before a keynote. All you have to do is a few gymnastic exercises or run on the spot just before the keynote. This will give you some adrenaline and boost your energy level. When you give a lecture you will notice that you have much more power.

The inner movie: Imagine how it feels when you enter the stage and the audience applauds you. Certainly this performance alone triggers energy in you, which you can then use effectively for your real performance.

12. the power of the voice

The voice is one of the most important tools of a speaker when giving a lecture. It must be used in a targeted manner to achieve the greatest possible effect on the audience. It is important to speak calmly and thoughtfully so that important key words and core messages are better anchored in the audience's consciousness.

13. making targeted use of breaks

When giving a lecture, it is important to use breaks in a targeted manner. Breaks help to ensure that important content and messages are better absorbed and internalised by the audience. However, it is important to make sure that the breaks fit exactly, otherwise the presentation will seem rather choppy.

14. observe speech rate

In addition to pauses, the speed of speech must also be taken into account when giving a lecture. Many speakers make the mistake of rattling their presentation down because they are afraid of making a mistake. However, it is perfectly ok if a keynote does not run perfectly to 100%. It is more important to stay authentic and not look like a robot.

15. use body language specifically

The targeted use of body language when giving a lecture is also immensely important if you want to convey a message in a targeted manner. In this context, the speaker should pay particular attention to a self-confident posture. The shoulders should be pushed backwards and the chest should be pressed forward. In this way, one appears more present and takes the stage more easily.

16th Powerpoint vs. freestyle

Powerpoint vs. freestyle during a lecture? At this point the minds part. While some swear by freestyle, others are convinced that a PowerPoint is incredibly important to communicate the desired message better. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. You should find a healthy middle ground here and not overdo it with slides.

17. design stage set

What does the stage of a modern speaker look like? Should he or she have props available when giving a lecture? Here too, you basically enjoy absolute freedom. The important thing is not to overload the stage with countless props. After all, a keynote is not a play. So if you use props, they should be related to the keynote.

18. use aids

Should you use aids when giving a lecture and if so, which ones? As a speaker you enjoy absolute freedom here as well. You decide yourself whether you want to speak freely or whether you prefer to use a PowerPoint presentation. If you decide to use a PowerPoint presentation, make sure you use a clicker. This way you have control over the slides and don't have to hope for the right timing of a technician. Of course, you can also use exotic tools such as instruments or sports equipment if they fit your content and underline your core message.

19. install plot twist

Many keynotes are predictable when giving a lecture. This has to do with the fact that many keynote speakers copy each other. In this way, individuality in particular is lost. That's why it is especially advantageous to include plot twists in the keynote and surprise the audience with something unexpected. This way you stand out from the average as a speaker and position yourself as a leading expert.

20. the moment of surprise

How can a moment of surprise look like when giving a lecture? For example, you can give an obvious story an unexpected twist. Or you can mirror an apparently personal story to the audience, so that the audience recognizes itself in it. Or you can ask the audience a provocative question in a new direction to get their attention. Think about 3 surprise moments and write them as comments in the article. We are very curious what you will come up with. Or maybe you have a very special surprise moment that you have used in the past when giving a lecture?

21. errors include

It is absolutely right to have memorized your keynote down to the last detail. However, one should not be desperately trying not to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the life of a keynote speaker and make the keynote itself and you as a person much more authentic. Or to put it in a nutshell: The world will not end if you make a promise or deviate from the script. Giving a lecture does not mean to be perfect, but to have the courage to make small mistakes every now and then.

22. move correctly

How does a speaker move when giving a lecture? Does he stand motionless on stage or does he move from spot to spot? Here is the answer: It's the mix that does it! When it comes to conveying profound messages, you should stand in the middle of the stage, lower your voice and slow down your speaking rate. If you want to communicate important information quickly one after another, you can move from left to right on stage. The Americans call this procedure "Tiggering".

23. humor helps

In the past, lectures were lengthy, dry and completely uninteresting. I'm sure you've noticed those lectures. If you've studied, you'll know such lectures from your college days.

Especially when it comes to complicated issues (e.g. technology) there is a danger that a lecture will be boring. With a little humour or an appropriate joke, you can loosen up the subject matter and attract the attention of the audience. In this way you can give a lecture that will be remembered. In the end, this is exactly what you want as a speaker.

24. be authentic

Authenticity is the key to success. The audience will notice if you are real or if you are pretending. Therefore, stay true to your line and try to convince the audience of you in a natural way.

Because if you are authentic, you will remain in people's minds. They will remember your individuality. And that in turn will make you stand out from the grey mass of the average. When you have to give your next lecture, you should pay special attention to this point.

25. Practice, practice, practice!

No master has ever fallen from heaven. Even top speakers like Tobias Beck, Dr. Stefan Frädrich or Michael Rossié always take enough time to prepare their speeches accordingly. When they give a speech, nothing is left to chance.

The result is always a stage performance that will be remembered. And that's why the same goes for you: Practice until you get your keynote! If you're still unsure how to set up your keynote, download our free keynote workbook here.

Presenting: 25 tips for speakers to improve the quality of your keynote

In this article, we have presented a total of 25 proven tips that you can use to improve the quality of your keynote. With the tips from this article, you will be able to fascinate your audience and deliver greater added value. When you have to give your next presentation, you will be well prepared. Guaranteed!

Which of the tips did you like best? Do you have any other tips that you use on stage that work especially well? If you have to give a lecture, what do you pay special attention to? Share your ideas with us in the comments. We would be very happy to receive further suggestions.

If you yourself Become a keynote speakerIf you would like to give a lecture or simply improve your rhetoric, you can download our free Keynote Speaker Workbook here.

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