As a keynote speaker your content is merely one aspect of what you bring to the party. You are actually part of the success team your client has in place to ensure a successful event.
Sure, your content is terrific – unique, interesting, informed. But frankly, your client can most likely get similar content from others. So what is it they need from you? What makes you your value proposition?
Let’s start with collaboration. You are only one of many who will make the event a success. As a keynote speaker, you must collaborate not only with the person who brought you in, but with your partners. Do you know who they are? Are they the other speakers? the event organizers? the participants? Who do you need to align with most?
Each event will require you to be a relationship manager; make sure you understand and connect with your ‘collaborators.’ I once gave a talk to 750 franchise holders who were so at odds with the franchise owner that they were ready to revolt. If I merely did what the organizer requested, I would have been adding fuel to the flames. Instead, I had several meetings with the angry franchisees, and gently, humorously, added their issues into my talk. It was greatly appreciated by my audience, and the organizer came over to thank me. Some might say I went a bit outside my purview, but I actually helped them all get over some bumpy stuff and offered new thoughts to help them solve some problems. So who are your collaborators?
Then you must fuse with the event’s goals. Is the overarching goal to align participants? Does the event strive to incite, motivate, inspire? How will you position your content to align with the goals of the event? I recently spoke at a ‘Think out of the box’ conference, and I regularly repeated “Let me take you outside the box for a moment” as a way to match the event title.
More than a content provider, see yourself as a relationship manager whose value proposition is you rather than your content. Do whatever it takes to help the event succeed.