The 10 Biggest Mistakes Speakers Make In Their Keynote Speech

Ok, here you are on the main stage scheduled to deliver a dynamic, exciting and memorable keynote speech to 1000 eager attendees.

Are You Ready?

This is the big question that each professional speaker needs to ask themselves and be truly honest in their answer. Unfortunately, many of you will not be ready to deliver the goods.

public speakingOh you might be thinking, “Man, I do this all the time. I give keynote presentations every month and my audience loves me. They even tell me how I have changed their life; how they loved my presentation; and that they want me back next year.”

Well, to be honest, even mediocre speakers hear these same comments. It’s the polite thing to do you know. It’s not the norm for someone to come up to you after your presentation and tell you that you weren’t very good… that you really need to work on your presentation skills… that you really are not that funny.

This just doesn’t happen, so let me be the bad guy and tell you, for your sake, that you need to constantly evaluate your content, how it’s structured, and how it’s presented. Be honest and ask yourself, “Does my presentation Rock? Is this the best I’ve got? If I were sitting in the audience would I be fully engaged, entertained, and motivated with my presentation?” Unless you answer a resounding Yes to each of these questions, you need to take heed and spend some time working on your presentation.

In my work as a speaker coach and video producer, I’m constantly asked what it takes to craft & deliver a dynamic keynote speech that rocks. I’ve had the good fortune to work with over 90 professional speakers one-on-one either producing their speaker video or coaching them in crafting their ultimate keynote. I’ve watched hundreds of hours of presentations and it amazes me how many fail to rock-the-house with an entertaining, content rich, & motivating presentation. Sure, many of them are “good,” but it’s rare that someone stands out and rocks on stage to the point where people are buzzing about their performance style, their message, and their charisma.

So, to give you honest feedback to what I commonly see, I want to share with you some of the most common mistakes I see speakers make in their keynote speech.

When you read this list, think honestly if you are guilty of any of these mistakes. And if so, then I challenge you to eliminate them from your presentation so you can stand out like a rock star speaker!

Here are the top 10 mistakes speakers make in their keynote speech as I see it.

  1. They Don’t Craft Their Speech.
  2. They Don’t Think Big Enough In Their Presentation Style.
  3. They Don’t Understand the Needs Of Their Audience.
  4. They Are Boring.
  5. They Are Not Clear In Their Message.
  6. They Do A Data Dump On Their Audience.
  7. They Are Not Relevant. They Say Nothing New.
  8. It’s Too Much About Them & Not About the Audience.
  9. They Rely Too Much On PowerPoint. (Don’t Use It!)
  10. They Wing It.

To move from an average speaker to an awesome speaker and stand out like a rock star takes focus and dedication to being the best of you. You have to put yourself in the mindset of your audience and constantly answer the questions they will be asking throughout your presentation… “What’s in it for me? What do you mean by that? Why is that important? How does this affect me? And why should I care?” If you answer their questions in a fun, revealing, & entertaining way that’s memorable, then you are on the right track for success.

Remember, to succeed in the speaking business – it’s all about the speech. Yes, marketing, branding, and selling are very important, but unless you rock on stage and deliver a dynamic, entertaining, and content rich presentation, no one will care about how good your one sheet or website is.

So, if you want to stand out in this crazy, crowed, and competitive world of professional speakers so you can get more business, make more money, and be more successful, then you need to be intentional & craft your message, put your audience first, and remember to entertain. If you accomplish this, then you’ll be on your way to standing out a rock star speaker!


Robin Creasman is a motivational speaker/entertainer, an award-winning television producer, author, marketing and entertainment expert who speaks to business leaders, salespeople, entrepreneurs, small business owners and professional speakers on how to Stand Out, Market and Perform Like A Rock Star whether they are on-stage, in the boardroom or on a sales call so they can grow their business, make more money and be more successful. You can reach him at


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About the Author

Award-winning television producer, motivating keynote speaker, former touring musician and recording artist for USA Records, and entertainment industry expert known as The Rockstar Speaker & Presentation Coach.

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