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Booher_120816_BlogDo you recall a presentation or talk that truly captivated your attention and interest? Where the content stayed with you long after the meeting? What made that presentation not just good, but great?

Here are seven attributes that can make the difference between good and great speakers:

1. Content

  • Good speakers create and organize their talk by building a slide deck or whatever visual accompaniment they need to support their key message.
  • Great speakers first analyze their audience to create and organize a relevant talk, and then decide when and if to add visual support.

2. Preparation

  • Good speakers never wing it. They have an outline. They prepare their opening and closing. They review their notes. They are thoroughly familiar with their material.
  • Great speakers have done actual walk-throughs of their presentation. They understand that knowing the information and what comes next is only half the job.

3. Energy

  • Good speakers feed off of the energy and feedback from the audience.
  • Great speakers generate their own energy from their own interest in the topic, the audience, and the outcome.

4. Body Language

  • Good speakers have good posture, use appropriate gestures, make strong eye contact, and they move with intent.
  • Great speakers become their own visual support. Their delivery flows so much in sync with their personality and their message, it’s difficult to separate the two.

5. Vocal Quality

  • Good speakers choose clear words. They articulate well. They vary their pace, their volume, and their intensity.
  • Great speakers do the same, but they add rhythm. They milk the silences for both subtle and strong messages. Listen to some of your favorite comedians for lessons on pausing.

6. Audience Involvement

  • Good speakers talk to the audience.
  • Great speakers talk with the audience, who feel as if they are in a one-on-one conversation with the speaker.

7. Word Choice

  • Good speakers answer questions clearly and concisely whether giving facts or opinions.
  • Great speakers make sure their responses are memorable by providing structure and examples and adding colorful phrasing.

There are many good speakers, but the truly great ones are those whose words and thoughts stay with you. These tips will propel your presentations from good to great!

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