When planning a major meeting or conference, organizations of all kinds typically invite a well known person to serve as the keynote speaker. This individual is usually given the task of communicating the foundational theme or purpose for the gathering, discussing its importance to the organization, and outlining or advocating ways to implement the theme or achieve the purpose. The person assigned this responsibility is usually a part of the organization, perhaps a senior executive, or younger manager who has demonstrated excellent leadership qualities and a firm grasp of the organization’s goals and objectives, with clear ideas of how they may be brought to fruition. Occasionally, a speaker may be brought in from outside the organization or company to deliver the keynote address. These speakers are most often acknowledged and respected leaders within the industry or field the organization is a part of. They bring the perspective of a wise “guru” to the gathering, a visionary with a deep understanding of the subject matter, who has achieved a significant level of success in their own career.
Whether the keynote speaker is an insider or someone brought in for the purpose, it is essential that they be an outstanding communicator. Since their address usually sets the tone for the event, their speech must be on target, robust in its content, insightful and motivating. Appropriate humor added to the mix is always appreciated, and serves to make the content more memorable. High profile speakers with proven track records are often employed to fuel interest in the conference or event in the advertising or informational brochures. This inspires enthusiasm among attendees, and if the speaker is successful their address will get the gathering off to a rousing start.
Corporate events and conferences are not the only types of function where a keynote speaker is given a headline address. Both parties consider the keynote address an important part of their political conventions, and these addresses have often served to help the career of up and coming politicians. The main speaker at an educational graduation or commencement ceremony is often referred to in this way, as they underline the importance of using the education just completed by the audience to achieve their very best, often with an emphasis on helping others as they pursue their chosen professi