You surely do not want to be branded an amateur keynote speaker. Start by avoiding things that will make you look one.
1.He is overdressed or underdressed for the occasion
Many first-time keynote speakers overdress for the occasion with their desire to impress the audience. Others end up underdressed with their inability to grasp the importance of an event or understand what it is all about. It might not be much of an issue for male speakers since they have limited wardrobe choices for casual and formal events, but it certainly is for women who do not know when to drop their diamond necklaces and cocktail dresses.
2.He pauses a lot in his speech
Pausing is essential to capture the attention of the audience and connect with them genuinely. However, if it happens very often even in the middle of an important discussion, it means that the speaker is not well-prepared or just too nervous to utter words correctly.
3.His eyes do not leave his notes
Amateur keynote speakers are very conscious of their delivery that they want to get every word right. They make sure of it to the extent that their eyes no longer leave their notes. The lost of eye contact is bad enough, but appearing in front of an audience like the speech has just been written a minute ago definitely affects credibility.
4.He does not have good dynamics
Dynamics refers to voice control – when it needs to be louder and softer at the right time. It takes practice to master dynamics, so those who do not have this definitely belong to the amateur league. Amateurs tend to hold back, so they do not know when to increase their volume and go a little lower.
5.He is stiff as a pole
Keynote speakers talking like they are planted firmly where they stand are making things a bit too obvious. Specifically, they’re making it clear that still have a lot of inhibitions when it comes to moving on stage in front of an audience, showing emotions, using body language, and relaxing at the right moments.
6.He puts long texts on the visual presentation
Why would the audience need to read long texts of topics that a speaker should be explaining to begin with? This separates amateurs from professionals. Professional keynote speakers use visual presentations sparingly, preferably only to emphasize key points or give extra entertainment (like showing short clips or slides). Organizers pay the speaker, not the projector, so be sure you never do this.
7.He constantly leans on the podium
Standing for thirty minutes or longer is definitely a challenge. It is normal to feel the exhaustion and discomfort, which will prompt the speaker to lean on the podium from time to time, and alter positions to change where his weight falls. However, constantly leaning on the podium shows immaturity and lack of enthusiasm.
8.He holds something else aside from the microphone
Some keynote speakers sweat a lot. Some need a pen or marker to guide them through their speech. Some are just fond of holding something else to relieve their stress. It is okay to be one of them, just do not make it obvious in front of your audience. No one wants to see a speaker holding a stress ball while talking, or wrapping the microphone with a handkerchief while holding it.
9.His microphone shakes too much in his hand
Shaking is a clear sign of nervousness and lack of confidence. It does not take a second thought to know that he is an amateur keynote speaker.
10.He does not know what he is saying
What else gives away an amateur easier than a nonsense talk? He certainly is an amateur if he pretends to be an expert in a topic he cannot discuss properly.