There is also a tremendous amount of pressure on the keynote speaker. It is harder to control your audience from the stage. People have a tendency to be distracted, they are checking their emails, sending text messages and even hold private conversations while the keynote speaker is trying to make their most important point.
It’s not only frustrating, but it leaves me feeling empty. My ideal is to be able to make a difference for my audiences. I want to know that I am able to reach my audience and help them overcome the challenges they are facing.
I know there are a lot of speakers who don’t mind being the “rock star” and deliver the keynote speech so they can earn more with less effort. They don’t mind showing up, delivering their presentation, collecting their check and getting out of there as soon as they can! I have even met speakers who won’t stay in the same hotel as the even because they don’t want to be bothered by the attendees.
That is not my style! So, depending on how much you like to connect with your audience or not, you’ll find you’ll develop a preference in doing either keynotes or breakout sessions. However, most venues prefer you start out with the breakout sessions to prove yourself.