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What Makes a Speaker a Great Speaker?

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Since we provide speakers to Indianapolis companies and non-profits as well institutions across the country, we’re focused on speaker quality. So what makes for a great presenter?

There many important aspects of an excellent speaker, but here are a few to consider:


Great speakers care, and you can hear it in their voice On a recent visit to an Indianapolis-area Chamber of Commerce (Beech Grove!) I listened to a military veteran share his personal tale of sacrifice and a second chance at life. Everyone in the audience loved his speech—not because it was deeply educational or because he never stumbled over his words, but because it was clear that every word was true and meaningful.


Great speakers share information. If you already know everything someone has to say, then it doesn’t matter how well they say it. Audiences can only connect with a speaker who is offering something which is new, or at least presented in a novel way.

Indianapolis Speakers: What Makes Them Great?

© Flickr user Matt Ryall


Great speakers are the only individual who can give their talk. Each presenter has a style, and the best leverage that personal approach when talking to a room. Some use words that make you laugh and others are highly physical in their movement. I recently heard about a speaker at a major Indianapolis company who used audience interaction to make her point. Whatever the technique, the unique personality of the speaker must shine through.


Great speakers make and keep promises. Some do this with event organizers, by explaining what they will cover and keeping their talk within the time limit. Others make and keep promises within the context of their talk by outlining and agenda and covering each of the points. The opposite of an accountable speaker is one who rambles. There are not many audience members who enjoy an unstructured talk, which is why great speakers are highly accountable.

Keep these elements in mind as you decide if you want to hire a speaker. And the next time you are in the audience, pay attention to the presenter’s passion, knowledge, personality and accountability. You’ll realize why you like (and dislike) parts of what they offer.

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
Robby Slaughter


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