Here are excerpts from recent commenter opinions:
The need that some people have to be simply given more and more and more - what is it about human beings that they become so self-absorbed that they don't appreciate quality but instead just attack it and say, oh it wasn't enough for "us."
it seems that instead of just being glad to have such a brilliant mind speaking at your event - he's done bigger events - you're instead expecting Gladwell to deliver the knowledge that you have (or your peers) rather than being glad to receive what Gladwell is good at /for and experienced in.
Y'all must not give many keynote speeches. The speaker is on the circuit to promote a book, or other product. He or she gives dozens of such speeches a year. While most do attempt to build in some sort of reference to the event audience, the speech/slides/jokes are necessarily not from-scratch original every time.
Rather than comment further... (a - I'm not saying it was good enough for 'us'; I'm saying it wasn't any good; b - Personally, I don't think Gladwell is a 'brilliant mind', and anyway I'm no one's hagiographer; c - If that's the case with keynotes that pay out such mucho bucks, then that's just lame and we shouldn't stand for it)... I'll just let a few pros take on Gladwell.
Check out these heavy-thinking pieces about Malcolm's work from two guys a heck of a lot smarter than me; here's links to new critical pieces on two fine (and very different) blogs: EducationalInsanity and Edjurist.