What makes a great corporate keynote presenter?

 In public spealking

What makes a great keynote presenter?

Is it presence, is it content, is it the delivery – or is it something more – the X-Factor?

As a professional presenter myself, I’m always watching others to see what I can do to up my game with each and every talk I deliver.

On Tuesday I saw a masterclass in how to present to a corporate audience.

Col. Chris Hadfield delivered the opening keynote at the Watson Summit in London.

He had the crowd glued to him for a full 35 minutes, with all the aspects of a great presenter. He had an amazing story, that of space travel.

He told other people’s stories with skill, and he used simple props to tell a story. He also managed to weave the theme of the conference – disruption into what he was talking about. He ticked all the boxes.

Many have tried to capture the essence of what makes a great talk.

Chris Anderson, TED’s Curator has written a book about it, and my friend Jeremy Waite has used Watson to analyse his talks.

In the end, you have to also have the X-Factor I believe, something that cannot be taught or rehearsed.

As a bonus, I’ve enclosed a clip of Chris performing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – with a broken hand! How do you rate presenters? What characteristics do you look for when booking a great speaker?

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While you are here ...

Did you know that Andrew also speaks regularly on topics such as this at conferences and events around the world.

You may wish to view Andrew's extensive speaking portfolio at practicticalfutur.ist.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.