What Makes a Good Speaker?

When people hear that I owned a national, professional speakers bureau for 13 years, they often ask me, who are the best speakers and why? What follows are some of the characteristics of a very successful speaker who is often a highly paid speaker.

ëTell’ em what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell’ em what you told them.î

1.They arrive early and check out the sound system and introduce themselves to audience members during the networking time.

2.They speak on a subject that their audience needs to hear. And they use words and body language that shows their passion and authenticity.

3.They connect with their audience in the first few minutes with a riveting story, a funny incident, a startling statement or perhaps a poem. They know how to make their opening remarks relate to the material that follows.

4. They have no fear. They don’t only say what the audience wants to hear, but what they NEED to hear. In other words, their remarks may raise some eyebrows. They give their audiences some fresh ideas.

5.They never make more than 3-4 points in their speech. They don’t feel the need to tell an audience everything they know. No one can retain it all. For each major point they tell an illustrative story. A good story evokes emotion and offers a lesson. The audience members are then only a step away from their own story.

6. They make great eye contact and make each person feel attended to. This makes them appear to be more heartfelt and really present for their audience.

7. Before closing, they summarize and reiterate their major points. They end with an inspiring story and a call to action. They hold the audience accountable ñ to take some action in the next few days, weeks.

8.They don’t talk too long. They know how much time they have been assigned and they don’t exceed it.

9.They rehearse their speech a few times but never sound canned. They NEVER read their speech verbatim.

10. All successful speakers market themselves. They all promote themselves. And they all Network. They are a model of excellence. And you can be too!

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