What is the Difference in Keynote & Workshop Presenters

Youth Leadership Workshop

I remember getting an email from an event planner that read, “Do you do workshops?”

My first thought was, “What is the Difference in Keynote & Workshop Presenters?”

Come to find out, she wanted me to deliver a keynote speech at the conference she was planning and she also wanted me to give a workshop to her attendees.

Keynote Speakers
A keynote speech is a broad approach to speaking. Usually you speak to a large audience during a general session. Other than laughter and raising of hands, you don’t have a lot of interaction with your audience. If this type of work is appealing to you, than you would likely want to position yourself as a keynote speaker.

Workshop Presenter
Already, there is a difference because you often present a workshop. Workshops (sometimes referred to as Breakout Sessions) tend to have a smaller audiences than say a general session. Smaller audiences cause for intimate conversations between presenter and attendee. In a workshop, it’s okay to pause the personal facilitating the workshop if you have an important point to make that could help everyone in the workshop. Stopping a keynote address for example could make for an awkward situation, but not in a workshop, in fact it’s often welcomed. Workshops are usually fun and engaging, almost like hands-on-training. Many youth leadership conferences will have breakout sessions in addition to general sessions so students have a chance to engage with other students.

My advice would be to have a workshop that you can deliver ready for when you get asked to do one. If you have a certain fee for being a keynote speaker, you may consider having a workshop as an add-on. At least have a PowerPoint ready or bullet points that you can pass on to the event planner to help finalize a speaking contract.

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