A keynote speaker can establish the theme or set the tone for your event. A keynote speaker can add star power. A keynote speaker can help turn your event from an obligation to a destination. There are many different types of keynote speakers.
Begin your search by narrowing down what type of keynote speaker you are seeking. If you are interested in getting a big name, many keynote speakers come from the entertainment industry. If your primary goal is finding someone to entertain the crowd as an after-dinner speaker, an entertainer can be a good choice.
If you are looking for a celebrity who can offer a motivational speech, consider someone from the sports world. Many sports figures are natural candidates for keynote speaking.
While a good keynote speaker can entertain, motivate and/or inspire any crowd, you may decide that the best choice for your event is an industry expert.
Whether the prospective keynote speaker is in your field or not, the bigger names will generally command the bigger fees. If your event is connected to a specific cause or charity, you can aim for speakers that have publicly supported that cause or charity and may be willing to offer a discounted fee.
Instead of looking for the biggest name, someone lesser-known but on the rise could come at a low price. Maybe in a few years, that person will be a huge name and you can say they spoke at your event!
Typically, you will want to have the logistics of the keynote speech in place before seeking a speaker.