Public speaking, whether as MC, keynote speaker or guest speaker, is not easy. If it was, we would all be doing it. So what makes a good public speaker?

First of all, different speakers are better suited to certain types of events. It’s about connecting with the audience, and the event determines the audience. Having said that, there are certain core characteristics shared by all successful public speakers.


While it’s normal to feel nervous in front of large groups (it’s primitive instinct, blame the hindbrain) a great public speaker must still be able to speak convincingly and confidently; the audience must believe in what he is saying.


A good public speaker is someone to whom you look up, someone whose authority on the subject you accept. A great speaker has all those qualities but is also someone with whom you can relate. He must seem accessible and open to engagement.


A great public speaker must be comfortable with himself; he must be sincere and speak from the heart. People can sense when someone is pretending and doesn’t truly believe in the message. A great speaker becomes the message.


Great speakers know their subject inside and out. With integral knowledge comes authority and they convey this to the audience. The audience believes what a great speaker says because they trust him and his knowledge on the topic.


This is a crucial to being a great speaker. He must be able to connect with the audience while he is speaking, capturing and holding their attention. He should also interact afterwards and discuss any points members of his audience might want to raise. A great speaker never does a hit-and-run speech: delivering the message and then leaving immediately.

Genuinely funny

One of the most popular tricks to get the audience on your side is by making a joke. Yet unaffected humour is one of the most difficult things to get right. A great public speaker must make the audience laugh without seemingly trying to be funny. The humour must be spontaneous and natural.

Natural storyteller

Great speakers know how to capture the attention as well as the imagination of their audience. Their words compel and excite, it creates an almost magical hold on the audience and engages them. Their delivery is designed to lead the audience down the path of their message, making it a pleasant and wondrous journey.

UP A TONE has the know-how to help you choose the perfect speaker for your event. For the best guest and keynote speakers in town, contact UP A TONE EVENTS today!