According to the almighty opinion polls, a great speaker sets themselves apart from the rest of the pack through a range of criteria. If you have gazed in awe at the one who easily commands the audience, flitting seamlessly between anecdote and factual content, you may be scratching your head as to what makes a great speaker?

There is some deviation on the ‘rules’ of greatness, but a common ground seems to include the following traits:



“In a world full of Princesses, be Batman” screams the slogan across the picture of 10 pink puffballs and one batman with curls. Be you, be no-one else, no matter if you are exposing the barest part of your soul, your authenticity will skyrocket you from middling to magical. Speaking with a purpose, your purpose, draws the audience in and allows them the opportunity to be authentic too. It creates a safe zone and it opens up the channels of trust, which once built will sustain throughout your speaking career.



Whether you are in front of 50,000 or 5, attitude is pivotal in retaining the attention of the room. Great speakers have the ability to seem calm, relaxed and even comfortable, no matter what is going on underneath! You don’t have to be the most confident person in the world but you do have to deliver with the attitude of one.



Research conducted by Dianne Dukette and David Cornish (2009) show that ‘when you stand up in front of a crowd to present, you only have eight seconds to attract the audience’s attention.’  The best and most effective way to do this is by telling a story.

As humans we are naturally drawn to stories and our natural curiosity is such that we will want to know the conclusion of a good narrative whether it’s a subject we are passionate about or not.



The saying– “best laid schemes of mice and men” could have been tailor made for the speaking industry. No matter how much you may have structured, practiced and presented your speech, there will always be that margin for error. The best armour against stage meltdown seems to be flexibility:

  • Practise don’t memorise
  • Know your topic inside out
  • Listen to your audience
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat
  • Don’t be afraid to entertain



“Leave them with wanting more,” may seem like an old vaudeville cliche but it’s golddust. Whether it be imparting knowledge, motivating the crowd or entertaining the troops the goal should be satisfaction not satiation. Give them the story but leave them hanging for the epilogue.

The story continues

Of course you don’t become a great speaker overnight and there is no such thing as perfection. Great speakers, like great motivators, engage in a lifetime of learning and it’s the acknowledgement of this necessity that sets the best apart from the rest.

I’m offering a 50% discount on my exclusive video course to show what it takes to become a great speaker. This exclusive offer won’t last long, but will give you an insight into the tips and techniques you can use to either improve or begin your speaking path.

A great speaker is many things:

  • Inspiring
  • Informative
  • Motivational
  • Compassionate
  • Amusing
  • Empathetic
  • Trustworthy

To expect people to listen to what you have to say, you need to say it entertainingly, passionately and above all else believably.

In my next post I will share MY story of how I became a public speaker

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Images by Digital Collections, Arthur John Picton