From a good to a great speaker

Een aantal fundamentele eiegenschappen om van een goede naar uitstekende spreker te gaan

“Becoming a good public speaker is hard work. There are a lot of elements that you have to keep in mind, a lot of skills to be learned and many … many hours in front of an audience to become a good speaker. And then the journey can start from a good to a great speaker.”


+ know your stuff – deliver a simple message with a clear focus – don’t get trapped in the curse of knowledge by trying to share too many things. If your audience remembers 1 thing, what should they take away?

+ Be passionate – people should see sparkles in your eyes – even if you share that story for the 347th time – it should feel as the first time for your audience

+ Be authentic – a lot of speakers have a tendency to do some short of tricks with the audience. The audience will immediately feel it.

+ Deliver unique insights – what’s the unique, special things that you offer your audience?

+ A good sense of humor – it’s still one of the easiest ways to connect with an audience (please don’t tell jokes – unless you’re a stand up comedian)

+ Be a storyteller – boring stories, lots of fact& figures, aren’t the best way to communicate in these times. It’s all about the story – how do you communicate your message?

+ Work very hard – grab every opportunity to grow as a speaker

+ Connect with your audience – I will come back later to this element because it’s the main subject of `Fredriks’ blogpost

This list is certainly not exhaustive but are the fundamentals for me. And I’m mainly focusing on the non-famous speakers. I think most things also apply to famous speakers like the Richard Branson’s & Elon Musk’s of this world (and famous politicians & sport-people). These famous speakers have earned their reputation in a different domain and are chosen quite a lot of times because their name & the possibility to attract a larger audience instead of the added value of their content.


Now let’s assume that you’ve covered most of these areas quite
well, how can you go from a good to an great speaker because if you want
to play in a different league, you have to train a different skill-set
next to the fundamentals. Eg you can be a very good football-player in
your local team but that doesn’t mean that you can play in the national
league or participate in the world cup. The same is true for public
speakers. Combine this with the Pareto principle which is a remarkable
valid method in most cases: Only 20 (or even better 10 or 5) % of the
top-speakers perform on 80% of the global events/conferences. Their
audiences are a lot of times bigger (250-2.500 participants); the
audience has a lot of times a more senior level; budgets are way bigger
for these kind of events … But if you start comparing these great
speakers with the good speakers, it seems that you don’t see that many
differences. But these differences are quite subtle but make a (big)

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