The Difference Between Keynote Speakers And Guest Speakers – Expert review 2023

Almost any profession depends on knowing your role in order for you to succeed, and this is no exception when it comes to professional speaking. In your prospecting for speaking leads, for instance, do they want guest speakers or do they wish to have a keynote speaker as well? What is the expected duration of the presentation by the speaker? If you want to give a presentation, how would you set the tone, the content, and the approach, and what would you hope they will learn from it? You are more likely to succeed if you have as much knowledge as possible in all of these areas as possible. The combination of this knowledge and your knowledge of your role, along with the ability to exceed their expectations, will ensure you succeed.

Now that we know what’s going on, where do we go from here? Simple. It is essential that you have an in-depth understanding of the differences between a guest speaker and a keynote speaker if you are going to ramp up and refine your career as you go along. It is by knowing your angle before the next sales call that you will be in a position to approach the opportunity in a more appropriate manner.

What is a keynote speaker?

There are many speakers at an event, but the keynote speaker usually takes center stage. The idea of a keynote speech or a keynote address may be more familiar to most people from graduation ceremonies or other similar ceremonies, however event planners routinely make use of these speeches for keynote speeches at conferences, company retreats, wellness retreats, and other large events. One of the most important aspects of an event could be its keynote speaker, who can be referred to as the star or the main attraction.

There is no doubt that the keynote speaker plays a key role in setting the tone of the event, whether it is in an overt or hidden manner. The best way to deliver a keynote address is generally by following a script, but some keynote speakers will have their own approach to make sure they leave their audience with both a lasting impression and a high level of energy.

As well as having high visibility within their chosen industry and a unique level of expertise, keynote speakers are usually chosen because of the high level of visibility they have in their chosen field. This gives them the authority to see the market as a whole, to be considered an expert in this industry, and to be in a position to approach the keynote with a certain amount of flair and one’s own personal style. As a result, they are generally able to charge a higher fee compared with standard guest speakers.

What is a guest speaker?

Let’s take a moment to talk about guest speakers for a moment. To begin with, let’s give some explanation of what exactly a guest speaker actually is. Generally speaking, both keynote speakers and guest speakers have a similar ability to speak with respect to their speaking abilities. As a result, there are several key differences between the two groups in terms of their outlook and approach.

Generally, guest speakers aren’t hired for the purpose of opening an event or setting the tone for the rest of the event. They are actually hired to perform a variety of other tasks with the aim of adding value to the conference during and after the opening keynote address. It is common for events to hire guest speakers in order to focus on a particular area of the event in addition to the main topic. In addition to breaking up more serious segments of a multi-day event or enabling unique perspectives on the overall theme of the event, they may also be hired to provide a humorous element or even break up more serious segments of the event. Whatever the case may be, keynote speakers are the “lead” contributors to the speaker roster of an event, whereas guest speakers are the “supporting” contributors.

Similarly, one of the key differences between keynote speakers and guest speakers is how much of their career is based on being able to speak to a public audience professionally. Usually, keynote speakers are full-time professionals who speak on a regular basis for a living. Contrary to this, guest speakers tend to be full-time speakers who are still seeking to build their speaking businesses or are part-time speakers who focus on speaking as a part-time part of their career.

However, whether a speaker belongs to the category of a “keynote” or a “guest” will largely depend on the type of event at which the speaker will be speaking. The keynote address may be delivered by a full-time speaker at a mid-sized event in their industry, while the guest speaker may be a prominent expert in the field at a more prestigious event in their industry. Think of it as an instance of “Every thumb is a finger, but not every finger is a thumb,” in terms of biology. Guest speakers are just as popular as keynote speakers in this industry, but not all keynote speakers are able to deliver a keynote speech.

When do event planners hire a keynote speaker?

A keynote speaker is a great choice for a few reasons, most of which are determined by the nature of the event that the organizer of the event is organizing. The organizers of events have to keep a number of questions in mind regarding the event prior to it, such as “What is the size of the event?” “, and “Does the event or conference sound informal or free-wheeling?” Lastly, they should ask themselves, “What’s the event’s overall objective, and how is it organized in order to achieve those objectives?”

From there, planners break these different elements down and match them to specific reasons to hire a keynote speaker. If it’s a large, “buttoned-down” conference, example, event planners might hire a keynote speaker to educate and motivate attendees. If it’s a fundraising event, planners might hire a keynote speaker to promote awareness of the theme of the event. In short, many of the event planner’s keynote speaker requirements depend on the needs of the event as a whole. But, the main reason to hire one is still to kick off the event with a bang.

At that point, after finding keynote speakers that meet the event criteria, a secondary reason to hire one is to help the audience members connect with the event material. In any industry, it’s not exactly challenging to find marketing experts, motivational speakers, or even industry professionals who can analyze trends and forecast future industry changes.

When do event planners hire guest speakers?

However, guest speakers aren’t always as meticulous when hired as guests because they are supporting. It is simply a matter of choosing a speaker with a theme or theme(s) that reinforces or builds upon the keynote speaker’s theme(s).

Event planners can select guest speakers for many reasons thanks to this added flexibility. If a multi-day event is taking place, guest speakers can be invited to share their specific expertise or to discuss new technologies or techniques. On the other hand, guest speakers can be hired solely for a small corporate event to achieve one of these goals.

Event planners sometimes hire guest speakers as a change of pace to offer a completely different approach. The following are among them:

  • Student audiences can be re-engaged by bringing in a guest lecturer or educator.

  • Presenting recent industry challenges or changes to industry experts.

  • Help your audience connect with one another through the use of a facilitator.

  • Present a motivational speech with a dose of humor by hiring a magician or a hypnotist.

What do event planners look for in a speaker?

But how do you stand out as a keynote or guest speaker? The answer to this question varies from person to person, for better or for worse. Let’s start with the most notable ones.

Industry intelligence

A speaker’s level of knowledge is the first factor event planners consider. While it may seem obvious and fundamental, technically oriented events may make it difficult for visionary speakers to connect with attendees effectively. For a narrowly focused event, greater emphasis is placed on the level of knowledge when framing the search. An in-depth cryptocurrency conference isn’t necessarily the right place for a motivational speaker, for example.

Speaking Ability

In addition, event planners are looking for speakers who can connect with attendees. Speakers who lack basic skills in pacing, presentation, and engaging an audience will not get much respect. In this case, event planners are often looking for proof that a candidate has mastered specific skills. In addition to the ability to present specific techniques to support the presentation, and the ability to use data and analysis to support the presentation, these requisite skills also include the ability to demonstrate timing, narrative flair, and the ability to tell stories.


The third factor is finding speakers who are relevant to the event. Could the speaker be a match for the audience’s needs? Are you likely to stray from the topic? Can the prospective speaker stick to a script or will they have to reel him or her in? There may be a significant impact on their decision based on all these answers.

Speaking Fees

In addition to hiring keynote speakers, event planners also consider their event budget when choosing speakers. Planners may fixate on a high-profile speaker’s glitz before looking into their fee, even though it is important not to go over budget. Many planners avoid this by looking for diamonds in the rough. Less famous speakers can make up for the lack of “glitz” by delivering a powerful message. If you hope to eventually increase your speaking fee, this is an important consideration for aspiring speakers.


As a final note, most event planners also consider their speakers’ diversity. A well-organized event will have speakers of different genders and races so that a variety of perspectives can be offered on the main topic. It was found that 56% of event planners include diversity goals in the process of selecting speakers during the event planning process, according to a 2020 survey conducted by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Keeping this in mind, if you are not selected to be a part of a given event, don’t let it upset you. You may even have been chosen as a vendor to hire by event planners in some cases. The main idea was to give a chance to people who might not otherwise be heard a chance to say what they thought.

That’s Why You Want to Be a Keynote Speaker…

If you’re interested in becoming a keynote speaker and would like to increase your credibility right away, there are a couple of things you can do right away. A couple of things that you need to do to establish and enhance your personal brand are creating – or modernizing – your speaking business and developing your visibility. In order for this to be accomplished, you may need to take a variety of approaches, such as an updated website, sales and marketing efforts, and social media campaigns. Nevertheless, the most important thing to remember, regardless of how you go about growing your speaking business, is not to overlook any one of these tips.

That’s Why You Want To Be a Guest Speaker…

However, if you’re just starting out and want to be a guest speaker, then you should begin with the basics if you want to become a speaker. The first step to building your reputation is to build a reputation in one or two niches over the course of some time, rather than focusing solely on stagecraft and finding speaking opportunities. Our team at SpeakerFlow has a saying that says “niches are the key to riches” and we feel this is true. The bottom line is that if you are able to tailor your content to the needs of a specific audience, you will be able to sell your service easier.



What is guest speaker?

 As a guest speaker, someone is invited to speak because they are an expert on the subject or have an interest in it. In this particular case, the person will not be a member of the group of people who created the event, but will be presenting at it. Among their main duties, they are responsible for interacting with the other speakers and hosts of the event, and bringing a fresh perspective to the conversation they are involved in.

What is a keynote speaker?

 When it comes to events, keynote speakers are the main speakers. The most common type of keynote speech or keynote address is one that is used at graduation ceremonies or other similar ceremonies. However, there are also keynote speeches frequently used by event planners to introduce conferences, company retreats, wellness retreats, and other large events.

Why is it called a keynote speaker?

 It is the primary purpose of a keynote speaker to reiterate the meeting’s overall theme or main idea, and to make it as memorable as possible. The term keynote in the context of public speaking refers to the principal element and underlying theme of a larger idea. Therefore, the purpose or reason behind a meeting is usually the basis for a keynote speaker’s address in order to make a clear interpretation to an audience.

Can an event have 2 keynote speakers?

The term keynote speaker refers to the speaker who performs the opening or closing remarks at a conference or event. A single keynote speaker may be chosen for the event’s beginning, and a second keynote speaker may be chosen for the event’s end, but most occasions opt to have a single keynote speaker for the event’s start.

What are the 4 types of guests?

There should always be a standard of service provided to all prospective guests, but each guest’s expectations of the trip will be different, so there needs to be a standard of service for all types of guests.

4 Common Types of Hotel Guests

  • Backpackers.

  • Families.

  • Seniors.

  • Business travelers.

What is the advantage of keynote?

A key advantage of using Keynote is the fact that it allows users to collaborate with each other and edit one document at the same time, which is a big advantage when it comes to collaborating. The Keynote Live application allows you to display slideshows directly from your iPhone or iPad using its built-in slide show feature. It can be compared to what you might see in a movie when you see how the transitions and animations work in Keynote.

How long should a guest speaker talk?

45 minutes to 1 hr

A talk usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, with a period at the end of the talk for questions and answers. The speaker should be informed if there is going to be a time constraint before he or she assembles their talks if there are any. Unless there is a special run for up, it is possible to schedule a talk so that it lasts as long as two hours.