What Makes a Great Presenter? 9 Key Qualities to Look for!


Any successful public speaker will tell you that great presenters and public speakers are not born, they are made. So, What makes a great Presenter?

To become a highly-skilled presenter all you need do is to understand some basic concepts and to practice them.  What follows is an exploration of how public speaking professionals improve their craft.

Mastering presentation skills can be done by anyone, provided they are committed to recognizing and understanding the 9 essential skills to look for. 

World-class presenters all exhibit the following qualities:

  1. Passion About Their Topic.
  2. In-Depth Knowledge About Their Topic.
  3. They Keep Their Message Simple.
  4. They Exude Sincerity.
  5. They Exude Confidence.
  6. The Ability to Connect with Their Audience.
  7. They are Great Storytellers.
  8. Their Presentations are Highly Organized.
  9. Their Presentations are Memorable.

Every professional speaker contends with self-doubt.  But they all follow a recipe which helps to guide them from anxiety to success.  And their first step on the road to success always begins with a subject they are enthusiastic about.

I Highly Recommend also checking:

7 Basic Elements of Public Speaking

9 Traits of a BAD Public Speaker

The 9 Qualities of a Great Presenter and How They Work.

  1. Passion.

The topic that a professional presenter undertakes to discuss is always something that inspires them personally.  That they care deeply about their subject will always be evident to an audience.

Passion is critical to being an effective speaker. To engage an audience, the audience must be drawn into your topic; your passion is what grabs their attention and creates a desire to learn more. Passion also drives the other 8 characteristics. 

  1. Knowledge.

The fact that you are giving a presentation means that you have a great deal of expertise on the subject.  Noting will substitute for in-depth knowledge. 

With a mastery of your subject matter, you will be able to deliver your message with confidence and natural ease.  Moreover, the depth of understanding allows the speaker to boil down their subject into the simplest elements.  

  1. Simple.

A simple presentation on any subject, no matter the complexity, allows the audience to learn at their own pace and encourages a desire to learn more. 

A good presentation shares passion and understanding to a wide range of people.  Consider the famed astrophysicists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Greene.  These are two world-renowned scientists who are also master’s of describing complex phenomena in a way even non-scientists can comprehend.

  1. Sincere.
qualities of a great presenter authenticity. What makes a great presenter

Authenticity is directly transmitted to your audience and is something that cannot be faked. 

Authenticity is being yourself.  After all, you have passion and knowledge about your subject, so you can present it from your core, in your own voice. 

A good technique to practice if this sounds like a challenge is to convince yourself of what you are trying to convey about your topic.  If you can convince yourself, you can convince your audience.

  1. Confident.

Those who exude confidence have come to trust their own voice and ideas.  If you trust your passion and your knowledge then you can meld the four preceding characteristics into a whole, confidence is the result. 

Confidence comes through in your body language and your gestures.  Consider Tony Robbins and his speaking style; he is eminently confident, and it shows in his physical demeanor.  His hand gestures are never large and overbearing but direct – confident.

Qualities of a Great presenter: Confidence
  1. Connection.

Confidence connects you directly with your audience and your presentation.  The trust you build with your presence allows the audience to stay open and receptive to what you have to say. 

The connection is a grounding element that serves your ability to deliver great presentations.  Connection allows for greater ease of communication and results in more creativity and energy both for you and your audience.

  1. Storytelling.

There are few better ways to convey an important message than to tell a story.  A story engages the hearts and minds of those who are listening.  A story captures people’s attention and makes a presentation memorable. 

The best stories are those based on your personal experience. Think of what challenges you faced and the journey you took in meeting those challenges.  Your stories will inspire your audience.

  1. Organized.

Great presenters all are highly organized.  A solid presentation has a main point, supporting information and a conclusion. 

Remember, it takes continued practice to obtain this skill.  In developing an effective presentation concentrate on the following approach: “What do I want to say? How do I want to say it? What’s my point?”  

Providing a coherent presentation shows that you respect your audience, your subject, and yourself; and your presentation will be a memorable one.

  1. Memorable.

What makes a presentation memorable?  You do! 

Your energy and enthusiasm about your topic ensure that audience will remember you and have a deeper appreciation of your subject. 

The preceding 8 characteristics are enough in themselves but when you bring them all together into a seamless package, you have the makings of a memorable presentation.  

Last Words.

Whenever the latest research on phobias, what people fear, hits the headlines there is always a consensus around public speaking being one of our top fears.  It can be higher on one list and lower on another, but it is always in there somewhere.  And the reason is simpler than you might think.

Public speaking is one activity that seems to push many of our “greatest fear” buttons.   Among those buttons are terrors we can all identify with, such as fear of failure; fear of being judged; fear of losing control; fear of who we really are, and, yes, even fear of success.  

Public speaking exposes you, the real you, in a public setting to an audience of strangers and, moreover, there is no “Fight or Flight” from this particular situation.  And when there is no way out all one can do is go deeper in.

Challenging though it is, these fears can be overcome.  Look at them rationally and decide if there really is anything to be afraid of.  Being grounded in and trusting yourself is the first step along the path to a wonderfully fulfilling life and, not least, exciting, and energizing presentations that your audience will love.

The 9 characteristics of a great presenter are effective only if one is willing to practice.  There is no substitute for rehearsing your presentation.  Rehearsing is not memorizing; it is simply the act of ingraining the ideas that you wish to convey.  Even the experts in the field routinely practice the delivery of their topics.  

By not memorizing you allow yourself to be creative and “in the moment” as you deliver your presentation.  Your passion and knowledge will carry you through with excellence.  

By considering the 9 characteristics your next presentation will be powerful because you have confidence, because you are sincere in your approach and because you will forge an intimate connection with your audience.

Thanks, and I hope you have a proper answer to the question: What makes a great Presenter?

Emidio Amadebai

An avid seeker of knowledge, and passionate about sharing the lessons he picks up in life. Emidio is passionate about public speaking, teaching, and helping others develop critical soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and other interpersonal skills which are in high demand in today's rapidly evolving market.

Recent Posts