Throughout history, people have been inspired by speakers. Many have achieved their proudest moments following a stirring speech and the gift of great oration has helped society to progress through evolution and democracy. Today, there are speakers to suit all events and organisations such as businesses and educational institutes are keen to find speakers who will motivate and inspire all who listen. Despite the importance of public speaking, many are terrified of even trying it - and some who do lack the spark required to make the event brilliant. In order to celebrate the best speakers, we thought we’d explore what makes them good in the first place; below we explore the characteristics of good speakers:
-Conviction, belief and expertise
In order to speak convincingly about a topic, an audience must be sure that a speaker knows what they are talking about. In order to have certain convictions and beliefs concerning a subject, someone must have background experience or have carried out extensive research. Whether booking sports speakers to motivate or economics professors to educate, those hiring speakers need to know that they are paying for experience, expertise and the expert opinion that accompanies it.
Regardless of background, all speakers must prepare themselves for individual events. In speaking, practice can make perfect and rehearsing elements of speeches and investigating the organisation they will be speaking for sets diligent speakers apart. Of course, comedians often improvise as they involve audience members and the latest news, but in almost all cases, revision and practice combined with passion and enthusiasm make for the best presentations.
It may seem obvious, but energy is vital to the best speaking performances. The best speakers harness their enthusiasm, captivating audiences with their passion for their subjects and building interest and excitement expertly. The ability to share enthusiasm with a group is rare as it requires both dynamism and charisma – things good speakers have in excess. It goes without saying that the kind of enthusiasm shown will vary – those dealing with difficult and serious subjects must place their emphasis carefully, using story telling ability to help listeners to create a mental image and gain understanding, before using energy to help suggest improvements and outline what can be learned.
-Humour and timing
Comedians rely upon timing to maximise the effect of their jokes. A good joke not only has to be correct in delivery in terms of tone a clarity, it must be timed to perfection. When considering speeches and talks, those delivering them must make them appeal to the human nature of their audience – elements of humour, correctly placed and timed, will achieve this. Whether comic or not, speeches must be well timed and the emphasis placed correctly on points in order for audiences to reap the best benefits from the experience.
-Personal touches and stories
Organisations choose particular speakers because of who they are. Whether for personality traits, experience or for humour (or a combination of all three), speakers are chosen to share their own unique insight. The best speakers know this and are keen to share their own experience and to include relevant stories from their own lives with audiences big and small.