The Top 9 Characteristics of Effective Public Speakers

Sep 4, 2019 by

Most of us were terrified of public speaking when we were younger. We couldn’t stand the thought of speaking before a crowd of people looking at us. 

But then, as we grew up, we came across people like Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, and – naturally – Steve Jobs. They are all great, effective public speakers who have basically left a mark on our society and culture. 

They are a few of the people that make the difference between a common public speaker and an effective public speaker. Let’s now take a look at nine of the things that make the latter!


All people should be confident. If they are so, they become more credible, competent, likable, and are perceived as more accurate, too. 

You have to believe that your presentation will be spectacular – and so it will be!


Studying for a subject without having any passion for it will make you prone to having an empty mind. 

If you are not passionate about what you are talking about in your speech, not only will you leave the stage with no memory of what you talked about, but your listeners will as well.


Always be yourself! Do not follow a written presentation by heart if you feel like deviating a bit from your main topic or from the lines you’ve carefully written at home. Always leave some space for your persona on the stage. 

Remember that people want to connect with the one before them – memorizing and saying a speech will make you lose their attention.


Related to what we mentioned above, you have to keep in mind that practice makes a speech perfect, and not memorization. Naturally, you do have to come up with a speech and practice it before the big day, but this doesn’t mean that you are bound to say it in the same way.

If you are willing to change the wording when needed, you will have an easier time dealing with the unexpected during the actual presentation.

Natural Voice

Your voice should be as natural as your behavior. Don’t seem too perfect – if you try to be too hard, you will only sound fake. 

You should approach with a conversational tone – one meant to help your audience connect with your speech rather than see it as a mere presentation that they have to take notes on.

Connecting with the Audience

We’ve mentioned a couple of times so far, but we can’t stress it enough! An effective public speaker must be able to connect with their audience on an individual level and make everyone feel like there are only two people involved in the conversation.

Namely, the speaker and the individual who is listening. 

Also, it is important that the speaker knows how to make the audience pay attention to them – engage and excite the listeners!

Digestible Presentation

A speech is meant to get your point across – that’s it! This means that you have to keep it short and simple and don’t give out more information than needed. For example, if you are given an entire hour for your presentation, you should not fill it all in.

Instead, finish ten or even twenty minutes earlier, allow the audience to ask you questions, and maybe let them out early. The audience should be able to fully understand your presentation and not feel like they’re fed information continuously. 

Impeccable Storytelling

An effective public speaker is also a good storyteller. Storytelling is also one of the best ways to engage with your audience. 

A good public speaker knows how to employ context into their speech so that the audience connects with both the story and the speaker. They’re basically creating an essay that is pleasant to listen to and an atmosphere that keeps the audience hooked.


As mentioned above, a public speaker is trying to get their point across – towards the audience. This means that you have to sort of guide them to the main points of your presentation, as well as encourage them to accept your idea.

Naturally, this is done with the help of repetition. An effective public speaker knows how many times they have to repeat a certain point for it to reach the audience. On top of that, they also know how to properly determine the ideas/points that must reach the audience.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, one characteristic is not enough to make an effective public speaker. Very much like an SEO speaker, for example, a good public speaker knows how to incorporate all of the above into their routine.

They know what they have to talk about, how to make it short enough for everyone to understand, and how to connect to the audience in such a way that they would put away their phones and have their eyes on the speaker at all times!

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