This is a guest post by Arman Sadeghi. Arman is an entrepreneur, professional speaker and founder of Titanium Success. He has a degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley. Arman has a passion for healthy mind, body, and spirit. He speaks about, and coaches people on, personal development and success.
Great public speakers are not born, they are made. They are not perfect. It is the desire to advance their public speaking skills that draw them closer to perfection. The art of public speaking goes beyond reading from cue cards. Fortunately, if you have the passion, learning about the essential qualities of professional speakers is a great way to becoming one yourself.
Public speaking can be terrifying if you don’t have the qualities or the eloquence to inspire. If your speaking skills are not on par, chances are that your presentation will not effectively relay your message. The following five essential qualities of all public speakers will bolster your presentations to inspire, influence and make a consequential impact on your audience.
Confidence is the mother of all the other attributes that makes a successful presentation. A public speaker who exudes confidence is viewed as being more confident, accurate, knowledgeable, intelligent and likable than a speaker who is less confident of what they are saying. It’s natural to be nervous, but to excel in public speaking, you have to overcome your nervous jitters.
If you find yourself feeling a little nervous before a presentation, find a way to let it go as the audience will never see it unless you let it loose. Engaging your audience in the presentation is one of the ways of overcoming fear. The key is to practice, practice and practice. If you do a decent job here, confidence will flow naturally.
Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm for something. In order to effectively communicate your speech, you need to have a passion for the subject. If the subject cannot exhilarate you, chances are that it will not excite your audience. Without passion, your speech is meaningless. Passion elicits emotions that flow naturally. Emotions move an audience and effectively convey the message.
Emotions cannot be faked. Raising your voice and using gestures cannot take the place of emotions. You need to radiate a level of sincerity in your emotions that will belch the words out of your mouth in order to move your audience. In order to find passion for subjects that don’t excite you, you will need to dig deeper to find things that interest you.
3. Introspection and Self Awareness
To be a successful public speaker, you must first understand who you are and what your strongest qualities are. Most successful speakers work to capitalize on their strengths. Is it humor that adds taste to your presentation? Or is it that storytelling talent? Understanding your strength as a public speaker will enable you to effectively engage the audience.
Professional public speakers also find ways to improve on their weaknesses. To get started, you should make a list of all your best traits that make you exceptional. Think of how these traits are expressed when making a presentation. You should also make a list of those traits that you think are lacking in your presentations. Then you should devise ways of improving and incorporating the traits in a clear and concise manner that will make your presentation engaging.
4. Being Yourself
Always be yourself and not a duplicate of a “would be”. No one can replicate you better than yourself. No matter how much you have rehearsed for the speech, if you don’t act like yourself, your audience may see you as insincere. They may perceive that your whole idea is to try to capture attention by copying a famous person or trying to take their place.
Think of it this way: If you create a website and overload it with copied or duplicated content, it won’t attract much traffic. Authenticity is very important and goes hand in hand with the perceived credibility of whatever you are marketing. In order to be yourself, you should speak with a natural voice. Practice your speech but don’t memorize it.
5. Engagement with your Audience
A good speech should be conversational in nature. It should engage the audience as much as possible. This helps to eliminate the element of boredom. It ensures that the audiences are not on phone or laptops searching the web as you speak. You can get them to put the phones down by creating an engaging atmosphere. You can achieve this by painting a picture through storytelling, making fun or by conducting some regular body-relaxing activities.
The Muse – 4 Qualities of Amazing Public Speakers
Magnetic Public Speaking – The Top 9 Characteristics of Amazing Pubic Speakers
Ellen Finkelstein – 12 Steps to Becoming a Charismatic Speaker
A well-written article.Thank you so much for discussing such an interesting topic for speakers. Really great content especially the fourth characteristic to be achieved.
Thank you for the comment. Glad you liked the post.
You make a great point that if the subject you are speaking on does not excite you then it will not excite the audience. I can imagine that if you are listening to a speaker talks about something and you can tell that they have no passion, that it will be incredibly difficult to be able to hold their attention. I would love to listen to a motivational speaker in person sometime, I feel like that would be a great experience.
Great list John. I would take Passion/Being Yourself/Enganging with the Audience as the Most basic ones to have for any speaker out there. I have watched plenty of speeches where the speaker although confident the content and his ability to really get the audience going with the topic was lacking, and his confidence was solely based on having the knowledge, but there was no passion.
Thanks for sharing, John!
Appreciate the comment, Emidio.
good work ……..thanks.
Is it true that to be a public speaker the speaker should be well educated
Thanks for the comment, Jenipher.
Thanks a lot for the brain you have used to produce this kind of article
Thank you. Glad you like the article.
It stood out to me when you explained that public speakers should treat a speech like a conversation since it fosters engagement. The community organization I’m a part of wants to find a public speaker on tragedy to help motivate us during these troubled times in the world. Thanks for teaching me what skills and qualities to look for as we start reaching out to potential public speakers soon.
Thank you for the comment, Rebecca. I wish you the best of success in your search.
I agree with what you said that a good speech should always engage their audience to ensure there wouldn’t be any element of boredom. My dad would benefit from this advice because he’s currently looking for a public speaker for an event he’s hosting. I’ll share this article with him tonight when he gets home from work. Thanks for this.
Thanks for the comment. Good luck to your father in his search.
well articulated and precise
Thank you, Abinye.
It was very helpful for my Oral Exam
I am glad to hear it, Lillian.
I totally agree with all the viewpoints . the way of presenting all points was clear and amazing. I remind all points just in one go through. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Kamaljeet.
I grasped all the points and will try to use them in my life for becoming more confident
Thank you for the comment, Sukhjinder. Best of luck to you.
It really helped when you talked about how a public speaker must have confidence as their main skill. In my opinion, any company could benefit from the service of a keynote speaker. If I were to run a company and would like to motivate and encourage my employees, I’d definitely look for a speaker’s help. Thanks for the information on the best qualities of a public speaker.
Hi Eli. Many thanks for the comment; glad that you found the post useful.
Thanks for pointing these out. I am sure this will re-inform our speech.
Thank you, Sylvester.
Thank you very much Arman for this beautiful article. This is really great & helpful. I appreciate your writing skills & thoughts. The points are really good. I loved your article. Hope that you will write on a similar topic.
Thank you for the comment, Reese.
A great article. On the engagement of the audience, I find it abit tricky. There are those audiences who don’t like frequent questions from the speaker which to them seems like the speaker has less knowledge on the subject being presented. There are too part of audience that does not like being engaged much physically. Moderation on these is key, but I feel best of all a story or some fun making is acceptable by a good number audiences…
Thank you for the comment. I agree. That is why the more you know about your audience beforehand, the better you will be able to adapt your speaking and level of interaction. Having said that, and having spoken in 25+ countries around the world, I do not know anyone who is attending a presentation who hopes that it will be boring! So audience interaction (at appropriate levels of depth) is rarely a bad thing.
Thank you to post this useful information. It really a very good article and it will help me to build my confidence to speak fearlessly. Hope you will post these type of articles again.
Thank you, Parvenu. Good luck with your speaking!
I totally agree with these 5 points! Reading each one I was able to imagine presentations I’ve seen that made an impression because they had these qualities present. Thank you for putting it into words.
Thanks, Olivia. Glad you found the post useful.
its very helpful ….
Thank you, Simranjeet.