Professional keynote speaker Micah Solomon has some advice to help fellow speakers distinguish themselves.

Solomon tells Forbes magazine his main tools are his voice, his subject and his slides. For Solomon, it is his use of these elements that not only makes him different, but gives him the tools to motivate others.

Don’t pack on the information. Loading an audience with information doesn’t help retention. It’s better to make fewer points in as memorable a way as possible.

Use slides with few or no words, not the endless bullet pointed items that are the norm.

Rely on your own photos. The goal is to use imagery that won’t be automatically ignored or dismissed by the audience’s mind.

Pull your listeners in.  Once or twice in the course of a keynote lomon withholds an answer until the audience, by doing some small activity, is able to figure it out. This gets people involved.

Use emotion, specifically:

  • Humor:  Solomon says he can’t stop being comical, even though he talks about subjects to serious audiences for whom success rides on improving customer service. He works to refine his humor.
  • Fear/urgency: This one is important. As Nick Morgan, the renowned communications coach, explains  in his writings and in-person coaching, you need to start the audience off somewhere other than at the solution.
  • Poignancy: Solomon says he used to shy away from examples that are potential tear-jerkers.  Now he uses them, on occasion.

For more ideas on how to be a more effective keynote speaker, read our February issue featuring Guy Kawasaki