1. Solid Content. Even a person lacking charismatic gifts can develop solid content. Always share something the audience finds valuable to their lives.
2. Humorous. It’s hard to hate someone you laugh with. The best speakers find a way to get people smiling early in the program. It opens hearts and makes the group receptive. You don’t have to be hilarious, just humorous.
3. Organized. There’s no excuse for rambling through a presentation. Have your notes structured in way that keeps you on pace and on target. Listeners should feel they received a message that made sense and was easy to remember.
4. Approachable. Some speakers try to get in and get out as fast as possible, but the audience likes to know the speaker is available an approachable. One of the best ways to make a good impression is to get to the event early and meet people as they come in.
5. Authenticity. It’s said that honest arrogance is preferred over false humility. We all want to know people are being honest with us and that what we see is what we get. Be true to yourself and others by being the same around everyone. That way you don’t feel like one person in front of an audience and another person at other times.
6. Growing. Great speakers continue to grow in the knowledge and application of the craft. They don’t rest when reaching a particular level. Instead they continue to stretch and become better.
7. Giving. The best in this profession give without expecting return. Most big name speakers give anonymously to the charities and organizations they cherish. This giving attitude in private creates warmth and welcome in public.
8. Natural. Last night I actually watched BookSpan for the first time. I’ve flipped by before and mostly viewed it as a cure for insomnia. However, Walter Isaacson author of Benjamin Franklin An American Life was speaking. Having read the book I wanted to see how well he presented the material. He did a great job. I got the impression that he would be the same off the podium as he was in front of the microphone. A great example of natural expression.
9. Passionate. Speaking transfers energy with words. The more passion passes through the message the greater the chance of it being remembered and applied. No one has ever said, “I sure hope the speaker is boring.” Instead they like to say things like, “Wow! She sure was excited about her message.”
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