Industry Trends for Keynote Speakers

Have you noticed your standard keynote isn’t getting the same great response anymore? Do you see more empty seats in the audience and are getting smaller gigs? Or have you found that companies are willing to book you for online events but not in person?

Audience expectations for keynote speaking have changed and if you want to stay relevant to audiences and event planners, you’ll need to change your game or change careers. The 2019 forecast for keynote speakers shows audiences want more technology, more content, more interaction, and more virtual offerings.


Audiences want to be more engaged in your presentation. Instead of staring at your deck, they want to access their mobile devices to take a deeper dive into your content.

Audiences of the future will expect more augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital voice assistance with future talks. They will want content to pop up on their phones (images, tables, graphs) when you mention it in your talk.

Look to add more multimedia components to keep audiences engaged.


Audiences are craving your insights. In a world that is constantly changing, companies and conference attendees want more actionable takeaways and less inspirational stories. They want to walk away with more practical ways to do their jobs better and be more successful.

They also want shorter talks. Call it the TED experience. Gone are the long keynotes. They want a diverse group of speakers giving 30-minute talks.

Look to prepare shorter talks focused on practical insights.


Audiences want to interact with you more. They want to be able to influence your presentation through pre and post-event surveys. And it’s not just audience attendees who want to engage.

Company execs want more face time with speakers. No longer can speakers show up, talk, and leave. Speakers will be expected to do executive interviews and participate in the company event.

When you do travel to events, know that companies are not just paying for a talk but a chance to interact with an expert.


In the future, you will be traveling less for speaking. As airline flights and hotel prices keep increasing, companies wanting to control the bottom line will cut back on sending employees to conferences or inviting speakers to their companies.

Companies hoping to save a few dollars will be looking to speakers who offer online content, webinars, and virtual coaching.

Look to expand your services to the virtual realm to keep getting hired.