5 Characteristics of an Excellent Public Speaker

by | Jun 30, 2021

Think about some of your favorite public speakers. What are some characteristics that they exhibit that you believed helped them become the amazing speaker they are today? Do you possess those characteristics? Whether you feel you do or not, there are certainly a handful of traits that many of the top performing public speakers have. Below is a list of the 5 most important characteristics every successful speaker should possess.

1. Confidence – Confidence can get you far in almost any situation. In public speaking, a confident person is viewed as being more accurate, competent, credible, intelligent, knowledgeable, likable, and believable than the less confident uncertain speaker.

When you’re first starting out, it can be hard to display confidence while in front of an audience which is normal and understandable. If you’re nervous, it’s common to fidget or pace around until you find your stride. This is normal but can be distracting to your audience. Total confidence comes with experience but there are small things you can do to look like you have the utmost confidence:

• Stand up tall
• Make eye contact
• Don’t fidget
• Speak slowly

2. Honesty – This is a little different than whether or not you tell the truth. Honesty in public speaking is all about transparency. When speaking to an audience about something you claim to be passionate about, it’s important to show a little bit of vulnerability.

When your audience can see that you’re human just like them, they are more likely to empathize with you and be more connected to your message.

3. Audience-Centered Messages – Your audience is coming to you for your opinion and expertise. They want to hear a message that resonates with them and actionable takeaways that they will be able to apply to their everyday life. As a public speaker, you must be able to put yourself if your audience shoes.

While crafting your speech, remember to place listeners at the center of your story, understanding their wants and needs as to make sure your message hits home. This means using language, scenarios and messaging they can relate to. When you really know and understand your audience, you have a better chance of delivering a speech that will land with them.

4. Persistence – Anyone who wants to be good at their craft must practice and be persistent. Whether you’re an athlete, doctor or public speaker, practice and persistence is the best way to ensure that you can perfect your skills.

Even before you have solidified your messaging, you should start to practice things like facial expressions, tone, and body language. This will help to build your confidence and show you areas for improvement. Once you have ironed out your speech, the next step would be to practice your talking points but do not memorize them. Audiences tend to be more receptive when the speech feels more like a conversation. Allow your audience time to speak and ask questions. This will increase engagement and reduce attention fatigue.

5. Provide Actionable Content – Your audience isn’t just coming to hear you speak. Often, people seek out a speaker or life coach for advice or improve their life in some way. As a good public speaker, you will want to make sure your intended audience walks away with actionable takeaways that they can apply to their lives.

By providing practical and applicable steps, you’re delivering value to your audience that should not only help them but could keep them coming back for more. They will be more likely to refer others and hopefully help you grow your business.

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