Are Events Paying For Virtual Keynotes?

by | Aug 15, 2020

Short Answer: Yes, you can get paid well for virtual keynotes IF you do them right.

First and foremost, let’s talk about speakers that have been able to pivot to doing virtual events. Yes, they’ve been able to do it. Some of them are amazing. Some of them have high production value and deliver a quality message to their audiences.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of speakers that are just sitting down and opening Zoom like any other meeting.

It’s like they’re talking to a friend.

They’re using a shoddy Zoom background and the whole thing screams of low production value. This certainly affects the rate they’re able to command for a virtual keynote.

Next, let’s talk about event planners.

The speakers who just open Zoom and go are enabling the event planners to think: “well, it’s not the same as an on-stage event, so we’re going to want a lower price.” These speakers don’t deliver the value needed to command their normal rate for a virtual keynote.

I’m here to tell you that you can command the same price that you do when you get on stage, so long as you deliver high production value for your virtual events.

For example, here’s a screenshot from a recent virtual presentation I got paid 5 figures to do for an audience of over 100 professionals live on Zoom

Kenyon Salo Virtual Keynote NPMA 2020 Zoom

Yes, I understand that it’s more work to do a virtual event over doing a live event. But if you want to get paid doing virtual events, you must deliver that high production value.

Steps To Execute High-Quality Virtual Keynotes

(1) Create A Pre-Event Promo Video

This will show the event planner that you can add value, even before the event starts, to help get people excited for the event.

Use clips from previous events and videos you use during your keynote along with high-energy music and an overlay specific to the event.

If you want to go above and beyond, record a voice-over to introduce the event and get the participants excited about the event and, more specifically, your keynote.

(2) Full In-House Studio Production

Use an outside video camera, not the webcam, for high-quality video. Be sure to stand during the presentation so that the camera can be at eye level. And make sure to remember lighting.

Want the highest quality audio? Wear a headset mic, just like you would on stage.

Don’t forget about the backdrop – no shoddy Zoom backgrounds for your presentation. Ensure it is professional and clean so it doesn’t distract from your presentation.

(3) Personalize The Messaging

While you may have spent years developing your keynote, a good keynote speaker knows to incorporate questions, stories, or commentary based on the event or organization. This builds confidence for the event planner that you have done research beforehand and can adapt your message to the individuals in the audience.

Incorporate personalization into your virtual keynotes to keep the audience’s attention and ensure the event planner that you know what is relevant to the audience.

(4) Deliver Your Virtual Keynotes With Energy

The virtual keynote should have the same energy you give when you are on stage. It’s still a keynote! In my keynote, I have the audience get up and move, so I had them get up and move virtually as well.

Talk with the same passion and conviction as you tell inspiring stories. Your goal is still to have them walk away with a memorable experience. The energy with which you deliver a virtual keynote is an important factor in creating that experience.

(5) Fully Edited Video Follow-Up

The work isn’t done when the keynote ends.

Create a fully edited video of the keynote that has all the high-quality sound, video, and graphics so they can share the keynote for anybody that didn’t make it. Be sure to include any additional requests in the final edit, such as scrolling comments or questions.

Then create two more videos: a post-event “thank you” summary for the attendees that made it – roughly two to three minutes long and a post-event “sorry you missed it” video with the link to the fully edited video for them to watch on their own time.

Yes, You Too Can Get Paid For Virtual Events

Some speakers are doing well in the virtual space and they’re commanding the same prices that they get on stage because they’re focusing on the high-end value and quality that they’re delivering both to their client and the attendees that are watching virtually.

You just need to focus on everything from pre-event planning to the follow-up content. You must treat your virtual keynote as if you were on the stage.

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