I’d like to encourage more nonprofits to really think about their reasons for booking a keynote speaker, especially one from outside the organization.
Typically, keynote speeches are long. When this speech is assigned to someone outside your organization, major program time is devoted to someone who doesn’t necessarily have a commitment to promote your mission.
For example, say a professor from a nearby university gives the keynote at your next event. Are they going to talk up your organization? Or are they more likely to tie things back to work being done at the university?
I can’t tell you have many times I’ve seen this happen.
If your nonprofit decides to move forward with a keynote speaker from outside your organization, be careful about who you ask. Work with them to help their speech tie back to the mission of the nonprofit, and to limit unnecessary tangents.
Keynote speeches are almost always too long, and if your speaker is not associated with your nonprofit, your audience is probably going to tune out. You are better off having a shorter program with messaging that is laser-focused on your nonprofit. Your guests, and your fundraising, will thank you for it.
Does your nonprofit use a keynote speaker? Does it work well for you? Let me know in the comments.