Trends from the Keynote Speaker Community: The Keynote Speaker of the Future

The technical possibilities in the environment of an event are becoming more and more diverse. In addition, the participants are becoming more and more technically-oriented, i.e. they are increasingly familiar at least with the use of technical communication possibilities and are increasingly integrating these into their everyday lives. The expectation of being able to do this in the context of an event is rising accordingly – the successful keynote speaker of the future knows this and uses these possibilities to strengthen the connection with the audience and involve them in his remarks.

What does the future hold?

The topic of “virtual presentations and congresses” has been increasingly discussed for some time and quite a few experts see the future here. The advantages are too tempting: Time and cost savings, independence from place and time, etc. Nevertheless, we see here less a fundamental change than a relevant addition to the physical-personal contact.

Of course these new tools will become more and more important, but at the same time the personal aspects, the face-to-face exchange, will become more and more important. But its importance will focus more and more on interaction, the pure information transfer will decrease in its importance in favour of the individual, personal approach, the support and the interaction on site.

Smaller audiences

Hand in hand with the technological development, with which information can be communicated independent of time and place, the development will go to an ever smaller audience. Those who are only interested in the actual content of a conference or event will no longer find it absolutely necessary to be on site – they can easily obtain the information by other means.

The physical event, on the other hand, will be attended by those participants whose interest extends far beyond mere information: interaction, personal conversations, new ideas that develop from these conversations, and maintaining contact with other participants. As we have seen, this development will have an impact on the requirements of the keynote speakers of the future, but in the medium term it will also have an influence on the selection of locations.

Strategic use of technologies

In order to make the use of new technologies and tools successful and target-oriented, they must be used in a targeted and strategic manner: Interactive elements make sense when they provide listeners with real added value, insights that they could not have had without this technology. They are only successful if the participants can actively participate and directly influence the results or statements. Only then is interactivity perceived as such.

There are many different types of interactive elements that meet these conditions: getting feedback is one of them, but also the possibility for participants to actively influence the course of a presentation or topic. The integration of virtual surveys or Q&A sessions in real time is also an added value perceived as relevant. A good example of this can be found in Mariano Sigman and Dan Ariely’s speech on “The wisdom of the crowds”.

Content and Visualization

A presentation or conversation is most effective when the language is not the only instrument used. When the audience is addressed on several, complementary, sensory levels, this increases both attention and acceptance of the content. Accordingly, presentation design is becoming increasingly important.

The “participants of the future” are used to being confronted with the most modern forms of presentation, interesting graphics and interactive models from their everyday lives. If they miss this, they will quickly find a speech boring and their attention will fade. With the result that the entire event loses relevance and quality in their eyes.

In general, it can be said that the participants have increasingly higher expectations of the form of the presentation.

Speed as a relevant factor for the keynote speaker of the future

A successful keynote speaker must take into account the fact that information is communicated in ever faster sequences and in shorter sequences. What was considered exciting a few years ago is now often perceived as lengthy and boring. Many successful keynote speakers are therefore constantly developing new and more effective concepts in order to take this development into account and captivate their audience.

Successful speakers design their presentations to make it easier for participants to learn and understand the message. They concentrate on how the audience would like to perceive the information and thus switch from “information provider” to “information partner”.


The role of the keynote speaker is constantly evolving, driven and demanded by the ever new forms of general information transfer. In summary, the most important points for a successful keynote speech can be reduced to the following requirements:

  • Faster
  • Clear
  • Modern
  • Interactive

We would like to invite you to dive deeper into the future of meeting design in a personal consultation and find out together with you and your team which trends and storytelling strategies and keynote speakers will be relevant for you and your company in the future!

To read the first part of this article again, please click here.

The Event-Experience-Journey: On the “Pink! Way” to the ideal experience!