Just as customers today are demanding “just in time, just for me” from companies, audiences are losing patience with speakers using overly theoretical or purely entertaining approaches. It’s often useful to learn “what’s new.” But it’s even more useful to learn “what’s working.” The most powerful keynote presentations today are well-researched, relevant, and tailored to the audience’s industry, organization, or profession. These presentations are delivered by professional speakers who are currently working with individuals, management teams, or organizations to implement their ideas. This experience can then be brought to the platform to illustrate key messages with current examples and humorous anecdotes or insights. “Edutaining” speakers go beyond theoretical concepts or general principles to practical applications that audience members can use the very first day they get back to their workplace.

Effective professional speakers bring an outside expert’s view and voice to reinforce and inspire the changes needed inside the organization. The better ones speak, train, and facilitate dozens of times per year with a wide variety of groups across industries and countries. They rarely give the same presentation, workshop, or retreat twice. When coupled with extensive writing of books, articles, or columns the credibility and depth of expertise shines through to audiences and deepens the impact of their presentation.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “practical” as “relating to, or manifested in practice or action: not theoretical or ideal.” Speakers that connect with and impact today’s audiences blend inspiration and an entertaining style with highly practical applications that move listeners to action.