7 Qualities of Good Speakers
See also: Overcoming Presentation Nerves
That Can Help You Be More Successful
Speaking in public is no easy task, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of public speaking. Often, professionals must communicate with a broad audience, which requires an understanding of both the people listening and the topic in hand. Good speakers know that they need to speak in a way in which the audience can take in the words that they are saying, and which appeals to the crowd in more ways than one.
Good speakers, therefore, develop and possess certain qualities and personality traits that set them apart from mediocre speakers. What are these qualities? And, even if you’re not a speaker, why should you also develop them? How can these concepts help you to harness your potential and become more successful?
Here are some qualities of good speakers that can help anyone to better manage their resources and be more successful.
1. They Are Well-Prepared.
One of the most important qualities of a good speaker is the ability to be prepared. When conducting any kind of public speaking, you are generally given a topic to focus on. This may be for the purpose of sharing your ideas, elaborating on your company, or just to spread the word about a certain issue.
If you are speaking, whatever topic you have been asked to cover, it is important that you are well prepared and can captivate your audience. Start by creating an outline or draft of your topic. While rehearsing, try to vary your presentation in whatever way you can because a monotonous way of speaking might bore your audience.
How does being well-prepared relate to having a successful life though? They say that success is born when preparation meets opportunity. Successful people understand how important it is to prepare for great opportunities or events. While you may be able to just go with the flow, keep in mind that achievements do not happen by chance or by going with the flow. Opportunities are routinely disguised, and your success depends on how prepared you are to seize them.
2. They Deliver Unique Messages and Ideas.
One of the qualities of a good public speaker is the ability to deliver a unique message. Audiences don't want a repeat of something that they have heard before. They want to hear a fresh new perspective and want a new take on things. Giving them a fresh perspective and a unique message can make your entire talk seem more empowering and impactful.
One of the easiest ways to deliver a unique and powerful message while speaking in public is to just stay true to yourself and your beliefs. Everyone can offer a fresh new perspective on life and elaborating on that can help you develop a unique message.
However, this is easier said than done. While no one is born with the ability to always be unique, and no one can come up with innovative ideas all the time, some people are naturally more creative than others. For some, it’s going to be difficult to be the outstanding one among millions of others, so it’s important that you know that you may struggle at first. But also know that you can achieve your best thoughts and ideas through research and preparation.
3. They Provide Actionable Content.
A good public speaker doesn't always deliver a speech or talk just to pass the time. Their public speeches are generally designed to help the audience to improve on what they do or the way in which they think.
The best example of this is someone talking about their new start-up business. Imagine they have the opportunity to talk to a large audience about the new company and all that it does. They can focus on simply getting information across to the audience but will greatly improve engagement if they use an action-oriented approach, providing advice for the audience to take away.
Great ideas don’t mean much without implementation and practical steps. For leaders or entrepreneurs, this means giving actionable tasks to your employees, turning big vague goals into smaller achievable ones.
4. They Can Make the Complex Simple.
Sometimes, an individual has stand in front of a large audience and explain a concept that is not exactly simple. While you as a public speaker may be able to grasp the concept of what you are talking about, the audience may not always follow the logic.
One quality good speakers possess is the ability to make even the most complex of theories simple. Remember that your audience might not even know the basics of what you are talking about, and you should draft your speech in a way that allows them to understand everything from the very beginning.
In life, people are drawn to simplicity more than ever before. Making the complex simple is key to achieving better results in many different jobs today. This is why the ability to make anything simple for you, for your team, or for your clients is crucial.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” ― Albert Einstein
5. They Are Charismatic.
One of the hardest things to do is to captivate your audience while talking in public. The best approach to this doesn't have anything to do with the subject matter you are addressing, but rather the way in which you deliver your message. This is called charisma.
The main point to keep in mind here is that to captivate your audience you need to sound relatable in the way you talk, and be confident in the way you move. Maintaining eye contact, standing tall with great posture and using appropriate hand gestures and facial expressions is always important. The pace at which you talk can also make a significant difference.
In business dealings, charisma counts. A lot. If you want to impress your clients, this will be one of the most important skills to master. You will need extraordinary skills in both verbal and non-verbal communication.
If being confident and charismatic in the way you talk to people isn’t in your nature, there’s no need to force yourself. Don’t fidget or look distracted. Just be authentic and genuine while learning how to use positive body language can be a great start.
6. They Are Always Open to Questions.
Public speakers often shy away from questions because they don’t want to know immediately how the audience perceives the talk that they are giving. This, however, reduces engagement with the listeners. One important point in public speaking is to always be open to questions so that you can engage more with your audience.
Successful people encourage feedback. They pay attention to what is being said to them and listen with interest and an open mind. They act and answer questions with empathy. They are empowered by positive feedback, and they thrive on negative feedback. They learn to control the urge to be defensive. They are open to sentiment and criticism while not taking it too personal.
7. They Share Instead of Sell, Give Instead of Take.
This is one point that applies to those who are going to be speaking in public about their company, profession or product. Instead of trying to sell your product or idea, try to share your thoughts on it. This makes the talk seem more genuine and can result in the audience opting for what you have to offer. This also helps the audience relate to you or your company more.
Doing whatever it takes to get what you want isn’t the approach to success. A better path to success lies in the balance between give and take. Adam Grant suggests in his book "Give and Take" that some of the most successful people are givers, not takers. So, it’s safe to say that one of the best qualities to cultivate to be more successful lies is giving back to a community and to the people around you.
This is what I find most magnetic about successful givers: they get to the top without cutting others down, finding ways of expanding the pie that benefit themselves and the people around them.
― Adam M. Grant
Further Reading from Skills You Need
The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills eBooks.
Develop your interpersonal skills with our series of eBooks. Learn about and improve your communication skills, tackle conflict resolution, mediate in difficult situations, and develop your emotional intelligence.
About the Author
Gigi is a creative introvert, inspired writer and digital marketer based in Thailand. With her background in business management, she has been writing about small business, start-ups, and Digi-career improvement since 2012.