The Difference Between a Keynote and Guest Speaker

When you’re booking speakers for your event, they must be made aware of their exact role. There are two types of speakers you should consider hiring for an event: your keynote speaker and guest speaker. Both speakers add value to the event, but what’s the difference between the two?

What’s a keynote speaker?

Essentially, the keynote speaker is a person tasked to deliver the keynote address at a particular event. His role is to set out the central theme of a meeting or conference. These professionals are often experts in their field. They can discuss matters on a specific topic or industry for hours.

The keynote speaker serves as the headliner of the event. This person should have the ability to invigorate the audience and keep them interested in staying throughout the event. Thus, the keynote speaker must be someone who can capture the essence of the event in a short period.

What’s a guest speaker?

On the other hand, a guest speaker is a person invited to a gathering or event to deliver a speech. This can be anyone outside your organisation knowledgeable on a particular matter or topic.

This person adds value to the gathering by delving into more specific subtopics. He may also add a unique perspective covering the overarching topic the keynote speaker briefly discussed. He can share his personal experiences to elucidate his talking points.

What’s the difference?

In essence, the keynote speaker functions as the headliner of the event. This speaker is tasked to introduce the main topic and set the tone for the rest of the gathering. The guest speaker’s role is to dive into deeper detail during subsequent talks and expand on specific points. Their job is to support the keynote speaker through their messages. Both keynote and guest speakers are important to an event in their own right, because they work in synergy to educate or inspire the audience.

Whether a speaker falls under the ‘keynote’ or ‘guest’ category would depend entirely on the event. In the speaking industry, all keynote speakers can also serve as guest speakers. However, not all guest speakers can deliver keynote speeches. Technically, a speaker can be both, but expectations should be laid out before the event itself.

Choosing the right speakers

The speakers you invite for an event have the power to excite your target market to join the event. That’s why you must choose your speakers wisely.

When you’re looking for a keynote speaker, you should hire someone experienced in speaking at events. This professional should be engaging and creative because this person should be able to make a lasting impression.

Enticing people’s imagination and intellect is no easy feat. That’s why you must hire a professional speaker to serve as a keynote speaker at your event. Conducting some due diligence can make a huge difference when searching for an expert keynote speaker.

Jerome Joseph is a global speaker who’s spoken to audiences in over 30 countries and worked with over a thousand brands. He’s a certified expert in keeping audiences compelled throughout an event, no matter how big or small it may be.

Best Practices to Boost Your Personal
Brand Online

Your personal brand represents who you are to the public to make others recognise who you are. Your personal brand makes you unique and helps you stand out from the competition. With a solid personal brand, you can build bridges to a more robust network and attain your personal and professional goals.

Hence, it’s essential that you continuously improve your personal brand. Here are some practical personal branding tips to take your brand to the next level.

Identify who you are

To build a personal brand that reflects who you are on a professional and personal level requires some introspection. In what areas do you tend to excel? What characteristics do I usually get compliments on? What projects do I work on that don’t leave me feeling drained or exhausted?

Determine what you aspire to be known for

When you’re building your personal brand, you’re not just displaying who you are to the rest of the world. Essentially, you’re making the roadmap of where you want to be in the future.

Define your target market

Once you figure out who you are currently and where you want to be in the future, you need to determine the audience you intend to reach. Given your strengths and weaknesses, it is essential to gear your personal branding efforts towards a particular target market.

For example, if you wish to change careers or move to a new company, consider updating your LinkedIn account. Recruitment professionals will identify you more conveniently when you’re proactive in making yourself known.

Prepare an elevator pitch

You don’t have to be selling a product or service to develop an elevator pitch. Essentially, when someone asks you who you are, you should be ready with a 30 to 60-second story that encapsulates your identity and goals.

To avoid over-explaining or rambling, it would be best to have three key messages in mind. These messages should be easy to memorise. You’ll be more memorable if you keep your explanation short but impactful. To find out if your pitch sounds compelling, you can practise it with others. They can help you improve your messaging moving forward.

Keep it consistent

Improving your personal brand is a slow and steady process. Throughout your journey, you must keep things consistent. Like a company or organisation, you should be extremely strict when sticking to your branding.

Having a distinct style, font and imagery will help others identify who you are. If you’re unsure of where to start, you can hire the services of a professional graphic designer. He can help you craft your branding clearly and consistently. In addition, having a branding guide will help you stay on track to attain your goals.

Maximise your social media presence

Social media has levelled the field and provided more people with platforms to showcase who they are. You should take advantage of your social media channels to show the world who you are.

Being proactive in social media can open many opportunities in the professional world and connect you with like-minded individuals. Hence, there is value in using your voice on various social media platforms. LinkedIn is a great networking platform to expand your reach, and taking the time to share your accomplishments and thoughts can lead to valuable connections. Instagram is a visual platform, so you should share highlights of your personal and professional life tastefully.

Continuously expand your network

Having a solid circle of friends and colleagues can be comfortable, but you limit the opportunities that come your way by staying in your comfort zone. You can build your personal brand better by going beyond your immediate circle and expanding your network.

You might meet your next client or employer through networking events. There is always room for improvement, and you get to learn more by opening yourself to more people. If you can’t attend in-person events, you can join virtual ones in the meantime. What’s great about online networking is that you can connect with anyone across the globe. The possibilities are endless when you open yourself to new beginnings.

Get some professional help

Consulting with a personal branding consultant can help you in your journey to building your personal brand. You’ll get to clearly identify who you are and what you need to do to achieve your goals with some professional help.

Having a personal brand paves the way for continuous progress. You can reach your goals and stand out from the competition with a clearly defined and compelling personal brand. That’s why you should invest in yourself by booking a consultation session with Jerome Joseph.

Dr. Jerome Joseph, CSP, is a Global Speaker with industry experience as a CEO of a listed brand agency. He is recognized as a Top 30 Global Thought Leader on Branding, has spoken in 34 countries, and has worked with over 1,000 brands. For a more comprehensive introspection to improve your personal branding, you can email us at or contact us at +65 9271 6973.