Best Keynote Speaker Qualities and Top Booked Speakers for 2016

There are plenty of good keynote speakers, but the difference between good and great can make a big difference when it comes to making an impact at your next conference. That’s because some of the best keynote speakers and conference speakers don’t just have great public speaking skills, they also have the special qualities that get audiences interacting, thinking and acting—long after the conference is over:

  • They’re Experts

The best conference speakers are proven experts in their field. Just like Steve Jobs was one of the most sought-after keynote speakers around, he was also a pioneer in his industry. Audiences wanted to listen to him because they valued his expertise. This is an underlying quality for all great keynote speakers—they are leaders, innovators and experts and will be able to teach you something new and valuable.

  • They’re Entertaining

But just because you’re an expert, doesn’t mean you’re automatically a great speaker. The best keynote speakers know how to communicate complex thoughts and ideas in ways that are funny, personal and easy to understand. Like Forbes Contributor Micah Solomon noted in a recent article, “You hire us because we aren’t boring. We don’t do our presentations the way you would do them. And that is the point.”

  • They Understand Your Audience

The best conference speakers are effective because they know who they’re talking to. Instead of making their presentation all about them, they understand that they are there to support you and your business. That means that they will address issues that are important and relevant to your team. When audiences get the chance to learn about new ideas and solutions to problems they may be running into, they connect with the speaker on a deeper, more meaningful level.

  • They Are Passionate

All industry experts and successful business leaders have worked really hard to achieve their success. Like entrepreneur Mark Cuban has pointed out, “Everyone has ideas, most don’t do the work required to get the job done.” That drive to chase dreams and achieve lofty goals comes down to one thing: passion—something that all great conference speakers have. Not only are great speakers experts, they are also passionate about learning and growing and improving in their field.

Here are some of the best keynote speakers that are being quickly booked for 2016

Peter Diamandis

Peter is Chairman and CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, Co-Founder of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), Co-Founder of Singularity University, Co-Founder of Planetary Resources, and Co-Founder of Space Adventures. He has also authored the #1 New York Times bestseller Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think. Peter Diamandis is the Bono of the science world.  He’s working on projects like you would only see in that Armageddon movie and is the world’s biggest name in the incentivized innovation space.  As Peter says, ‘Artificial intelligence will affect every industry THIS decade’ and our favorite thing about him is that he paints a very positive picture of the future of our world. 

Fredrik Eklund

Fredrik is the #1 Real Estate Broker in the US, and Founder of a renowned Scandinavian real estate agency. He is also the star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York. As a passionate, entertaining, and enthusiastic real estate agent and television star, Fredrik is known for being part “shark” in business and part “softie” at home with his puppies and family.  He is also extremely personable with his audience, and has an extensive social media following.

Tan Le

Tan Le Tan is not just one of the top women keynote speakers; she’s also a technology whiz. She is a telecommunications entrepreneur and CEO of bioinformatics company, Emotiv. She was also a TED talk guest speaker and has been named one of Australia’s 30 Most Successful Women under 30 and Young Australian of the Year. Tan was listed on Forbes’ 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011 and has been honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. Tan also creates memorable and interactive presentations using cutting technology such as mind-reading headsets.

Kevin O’Leary

Kevin is known as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America and is the Chairman of O’Leary Funds. He is a venture capitalist and also stars on ABC’s Shark Tank.  Unlike his character on Shark Tank, Kevin is extremely personable, and easy to work with, and he ensures that his audiences understand his fundamental, personal beliefs about success, entrepreneurship, money, hard work, and sales. The “O’Leary Fundamentals” are important lessons for individuals of all ages, professions, and personalities.

Jeff DeGraff

Jeff has been dubbed the “Dean of Innovation” for his forward-thinking and visionary approach to business. He is a highly sought after conference speaker, author and professor and is the Founder of a consulting services center called Innovatrium. Watching Jeff speak is akin to going to the theater: he is more than anything a natural performer. Combine these talents with his extensive experience and knowledge on the topic of innovation and what you get is an exciting, and highly customized presentation that will propel any company to innovate.

Magic Johnson

Magic is a world-renowned NBA Hall of Fame All-Star, entrepreneur, philanthropist and motivational speaker. He is also co-owner of the Los Angeles Laker, Los Angeles Dodger and Los Angeles Sparks.

Waldo Waldman

Lt. Col. Rob ‘Waldo’ Waldman has an extensive background as a combat fighter and is a leadership and culture expert. He is the author of the bestselling book Never Fly Solo. Using real life battle footage, and stories from the front lines, Waldo teaches tools and techniques to prepare relentlessy for business missions in order to build trust and confidence with prospects, partners, and clients

Erik Qualman

Erik is a bestselling author and the Founder of socialnomics(dot)com, which was ranked as a Top 10 Social Media Blog by PCMagazine. As a technology expert, he is also a renowned keynote speaker who has presented at high-profile companies like Starbucks and Sony PlayStation. His book Digital Leader helped him be voted the 2nd “Most Likeable Author in the World” behind Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.  Erik’s keynotes are engaging, entertaining, and informative.

Peter Zeihan

Peter is an internationally sought after geopolitical strategist who specializes in customizing executive briefs for high-profile clients. He was a key team member who helped to develop Stratfor into a geopolitical consulting agency and publishing house, and most recently launched his own firm, Zeihan on Geopolitics. Peter has authored several business books, including The Accidental Superpower and A Crucible of Nations and is a frequent correspondent on major media outlets, including CNN, ABC and Fox News. As a dynamic, energetic speaker, Peter is one of the most booked speakers who has helped top businesses develop strategies for success.

For more information about how keynote business speakers like these can impact your event, contact BigSpeak Motivational Speakers Bureau at 805-965-1400 or info(at)