Popular Keynote Speaker Topics for 2023

by Chris Dyer- Keynote Speaker

Navigating the dynamic world of leadership and management, I am keenly aware of the evolving nature of work. As a seasoned keynote speaker, I have identified that as we work in 2023, professionals and leaders are intensely focusing on topics like innovation and technology, employee engagement and motivation, diversity and inclusion, and personal and professional development. Here are the top five areas you should focus on this year:

1. Leadership and Management: Giving Leaders the Support They Need

The culture and attitude of an office start at the top. When we witness challenges in our workplace dynamics, we might need to introspect. Notable CEOs worldwide consistently highlight five essential leadership attributes that make a transformative difference:

    • Fostering Collaboration Over Competition: Leaders who cultivate an environment where creativity thrives over rivalry tend to succeed more. It is about promoting a community-focused mindset, rooted in the belief that there is abundance and success for everyone. A leadership approach promoting innovation and technology while prioritizing employee engagement and motivation.

    • Putting People First: Great leaders understand that the strength of their organization lies in their teams. They take time to genuinely get to know their employees, tapping into their unique strengths and ensuring that each person is treated as a valuable asset. For enhanced employee engagement and motivation.

    • Driving Vision Over Fear: Progressive leadership is about encouraging innovation and avoiding stagnation. Leaders who inspire their teams with a sharp vision and include them in the journey tend to see that vision actualized more effectively. Championing innovation and technology.

    • Emphasizing Service Over Control: It is essential to trust your teams to manage their tasks. Great leaders focus on outcomes, allowing their teams to own the processes leading to those outcomes. Trusting in the team’s personal and professional development.

    • Expecting and Trusting in Greatness: A core tenet of transformative leadership and management. Instead of micromanaging, exceptional leaders set elevated expectations and trust their teams to meet them. 

2. Innovation and Technology: AI and the Future of Work: Navigating the Next Decade

Artificial intelligence, particularly advancements like ChatGPT, is dramatically shaping our work landscape. This evolution presents both challenges and opportunities. Leaders should prioritize understanding AI trends, the ethical implications, the impact on leadership and management in the next decade, and how to integrate these technologies without sidelining human talent. My seven-pillar strategy emphasizes balancing technology with maintaining a strong workplace culture, ensuring businesses remain agile and relevant in an AI-dominated world.

The integration of AI in the workplace has profound implications. AI as continuous force influencing diversity and inclusion in job roles, with ChatGPT and Bard being two of its eminent examples. As businesses and leaders grapple with this technological boom, three focal points emerge:

    • Understanding the AI Landscape:
        • Emergence of AI: Understanding the growing influence of AI tools like ChatGPT in shaping businesses.

        • AI Evolution: Predictions about how AI technology will adapt and affect industries in the next decade.

        • Beyond Novelty: Gauging whether AI tools will be transient trends or disruptive forces challenging conventional job roles.

    • Preparing for AI Changes:
        • Strategic Integration: Approaches to smoothly incorporate AI in businesses without eroding human roles.

        • Ethical Dilemmas: Navigating potential moral quandaries, such as potential biases in AI, the transparency of algorithms, and potential job displacement.

        • Human-centric AI: Ensuring AI tools, like ChatGPT, supplement human roles rather than supplant them, emphasizing human-AI collaboration.

    • Workplace Culture in an AI World: Merging AI while promoting employee engagement and motivation. Prioritizing personal and professional development alongside tech advances.


3. Leadership and Management in a Digital Age: Leading a Remote or Hybrid Team

With the shift to hybrid work models, businesses face unique challenges. The essence of effective remote and hybrid work lies in mastering communication, given that a sizable portion of it is nonverbal. My experience in leading remote teams offers invaluable insights, emphasizing creating virtual bonds, leveraging effective tools, and building a culture where every employee feels valued and connected, regardless of their physical location.

The hybrid work model presents both challenges and prospects. Key areas of focus include:

    • Understanding Hybrid Work:
        • Flexibility: Benefits of allowing employees to work in environments where they are most productive.

        • Challenges: Recognizing the complexities of hybrid models compared to solely remote or in-person models.

    • Communication:
        • Overcoming Barriers: Strategies to navigate the loss of non-verbal cues and the importance of clear communication in a virtual workspace.

        • Virtual Body Language: Techniques to effectively convey emotions and intentions without being physically present.

        • Time Zone Awareness: Managing teams spread across different time zones without sacrificing efficiency.

    • Building a Remote Culture:
        • Virtual Team Chemistry: Nurturing bonds and understanding among remote team members.

        • Remote Success Secrets: Leveraging my experience to create a thriving remote work environment and avoid common pitfalls.

4. Diversity and Inclusion: Mastering Tough Conversations

Avoiding challenging conversations can be detrimental to organizational health. Tackling this head-on, with tact and grace, can make a world of difference. Here I emphasize the importance of recognizing when these conversations are necessary, being aware of cognitive biases, and adapting your approach based on personality types and the conversation’s medium, be it virtual or in-person.

Tough conversations are unavoidable, but they can happen with grace:

    • Recognizing the Need:
        • Identifying Signals: Understanding when certain discussions are imperative for organizational health.

        • Bias Awareness: Being mindful of personal and collective biases that can color perceptions.

    • Effective Communication:
        • Starting Right: Strategies for initiating difficult conversations.

        • Knowing the Limits: Recognizing when it is best to pause or end a challenging dialogue.

    • Adapting to Mediums:
        • In-Person vs. Virtual: Adjusting the approach based on where the conversation is happening, considering factors like body language and technological challenges.

5. Personal and Professional Development: Listening is Leading

One often-overlooked leadership skill is the art of listening. It is more than just hearing words; it is about understanding, empathy, and action. Overcoming barriers to effective listening, such as distractions and biases, can lead to stronger connections, improved trust, and a more cohesive, engaged team. With two ears and one mouth, the emphasis should indeed be on listening more and speaking less.

Active and meaningful listening is crucial for strong leadership and organizational health:

    • Barriers to Effective Listening:
        • Distractions: Internal (personal biases, preconceptions) and external (noisy environments, technological glitches).

        • Overcoming Barriers: Techniques to minimize distractions and foster genuine engagement during conversations.

    • Building a Listening Culture:
        • Formal & Informal Communication: Encouraging settings where employees feel heard, from official meetings to casual chats.

        • Trust and Teamwork: Demonstrating that by listening, leaders value and trust their team’s insights.

    • Elevating Emotional Intelligence:
        • Beyond Words: Paying attention to non-verbal cues and reading between the lines to understand underlying emotions and motivations.

        • Responding with Empathy: Ensuring responses resonate with the speaker, fostering a bond of trust and mutual respect.


As we navigate 2023, the above topics are not just trends but essential pillars for organizational success. Their relevance and depth are the focus of my two best-selling books, “The Power of Company Culture” and “Remote Work”. These publications have provided 1000’s of leaders, HR professionals, and employees with actionable insights to transform their professional environments. It is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the corporate world that I am thrilled to announce the upcoming release of “The Power of Company Culture – 2nd Edition“, slated for October 31st, 2023. This revised edition delves deeper into the intricacies of creating a resilient and adaptive company culture. Whether you are a leader seeking to inspire, an HR professional aiming to foster better workplace dynamics, or an employee looking to thrive in this ever-changing landscape, these books and the above areas are invaluable resources to watch, read, and master.