The Difference Between a Keynote and Guest Speaker

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.