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7 Keynote Speaker Topics Senior Executives Should Know

If you want to stay competitive and relevant as a speaker in the ever-expanding competitive global marketplace, keeping your finger on the pulse regarding keynote speaker ideas is imperative.

Remaining current with the latest speaking topics and trends allows you to connect to a broader audience, showcase your competitive edge and share influential wisdom that remains evergreen. Senior executives can benefit from becoming a public speaker in ways that include improving your industry standing and extending your networks. 

Here we explore eight great keynote topics for motivational speakers and senior executives. These timely topics engage audiences and get to the heart of what business is all about. 

1 - Leadership 

Leadership still remains one of the hottest topics in business. This broad umbrella term allows you to discuss myriad issues, including leadership styles, team management, solution-driven approaches to challenges, tips on reaching peak performance and strategies to boost employee morale. 

Top author and keynote speaker, Lars Sudmann, highlights that effective leadership begins with "self-leadership." This phenomenon is accomplished through determined self-awareness and constant character trait-checking of past leaders and oneself. Sudmann discusses the ''leadership Utopia'' in his famed TedTalk about leadership, noting that leaders should lead themselves before leading others.  

He also notes that leaders can bring about significant results when they become "leaders of leaders." Growing new leaders inspires current leaders to reflect on, grow and develop their leadership styles. Leadership is also about instilling confidence in your teams and showcasing newfound possibilities. As American Broadcast Journalist Russell H. Hewing once wrote:

"A boss creates fear, a leader, confidence. A boss fixes blame, and a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader knows questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested In him or herself, a leader is interested in the group." 

2 - DE&I

A discussion around diversity and inclusion is always a pertinent subject when it comes to keynote speaking. When you open up the platform to conversations on diversity, you create a more well-rounded and eclectic space that is accessible to a variety of individuals from all walks of life. 

Discussion can center around the importance of diversity within the workplace or examine the meaningful impact of thought leaders and executives from marginalized groups within the specific industry. Keynote speeches can also analyze the nuanced issues that minorities, including women, people of color and LGBTIQ communities face in places of work. This makes keynote speeches more inclusive and showcases a deeper understanding of the systematic barriers that hinder workplace inclusivity and change. 

Research by Mckinsey has illuminated that diverse workforces can "boost productivity by 35%" since diverse teams are better equipped to deal with various client needs. Diverse workplaces also have the added benefit of enhancing team morale and making people feel seen, valued and included. 

The true value of keynote speaking lies in its ability to appeal to an array of individuals. This keynote topic goes a long way in creating cohesion and connection between various groups. 

3 - Emotional Intelligence / Vulnerability 

Much has been written on vulnerability in recent years, with more corporate entities recognizing the value of emotional intelligence rather than solely focusing on intellectual intelligence. 

Thought leaders like Brene Brown have illustrated how vulnerability is paramount to building meaningful connections, writing:

"Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage." 

When leaders showcase vulnerability, they create "psychologically safe" environments for their employees and encourage them to do the same. Employees who feel safe enough to be vulnerable take greater risks, which helps create "more innovative, resilient and adaptive organizations." 

4 - Technology 

Technological innovation is at the forefront of most sectors, with many industries using software as a service (SaaS) applications or delving into the world of artificial intelligence (AI). Showcasing how your organization is remaining at the forefront of technological advancements and using new technologies to its advantage is one of the best ways to showcase adaptability.

In light of the pandemic and a large section of the workforce becoming remote, illustrating the ability to adapt to changing environments is one of the most effective ways to stay relevant and build confidence. 

5 - Storytelling 

The art of storytelling in life and business is one of the most effective ways to build connections and retain clients. When you have a story or narrative, people automatically feel closer to you. Senior executives can utilize the art of storytelling within all elements of business to "generate connections, intrigue, emotion, empathy, humor, and curiosity." 

As journalist and speaker Chris Brogan shares, "stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them glued to our heads with stories."

During keynote speeches, share how storytelling can enhance sales, build connections, engage customers and integrate authenticity within your organization. Use your own story within your keynote address to build rapport and create meaning. 

6 - Future of Work 

Another fascinating keynote topic is that of the future of work. The pandemic saw many global shifts in the workforce, spearheading newfound conversations about the next steps ahead. While millions of employees worldwide have returned to offices, many companies continue to work with remote workers. 

Thus, strategies around cyber security, digital communication and team building without physical connection become imperative. Senior executives must consider what a dispersed workforce might look like and how best to channel their skills and creative inputs to build momentum. 

7 - Motivation 

One keynote speaking topic that gains significant traction is motivation. We are all looking for ways to enhance our motivation levels and get inspired. Sharing personal anecdotes and strategies for motivational success offers your audience tangible nuggets of wisdom that they can take back home and implement in their own lives. Ending keynote speeches on an inspiring or motivational note is also a fantastic way to stay memorable and enact change. 

The Takeaway 

Successful keynote speeches engage audiences, share wisdom, generate an active discussion and inspire change. These eight topics are tried and tested favorites, offering a plethora of opportunities for senior executives to share their message and broadcast it to a much wider community.

To discover how you can amplify your expertise through the combined power of networking and publishing, read more at Newsweek Expert Forum.

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