Workshops, lectures and retirement parties are a just a few of the occasions that can involve professional speakers. Some professional speakers are hired for an event to provide insight on a particular topic. Other professional speakers are paid to host or emcee an event in order to introduce others who are there to give a talk.

A talented, professional speaker has a lot of great qualities. Consider the following five qualities found in a professional speaker.

Gary Vaynerchuk - entrepreneur, professional speaker
Gary Vaynerchuk giving keynote – photo credit: JD Lasica / Flickr

1. Knowledge of the Subject

One simple way to identify a professional speaker is the person has a deep knowledge of whatever topic he or she is talking about. Keynote speakers are able to delve into a subject with confidence and clarify anything that may be confusing to listeners. The speaker doesn’t hesitate during the talk. Instead, the talk flows from one point to the next in a logical way. Most importantly, because the professional speaker knows the subject so well, he or she is able to keep the attention of listeners.

2. The Ability to Adapt to Circumstances

Most professional speakers know that things can happen during a speech that are beyond their control. Some examples include the microphone going dead, a visual aid falling over, the electricity going out in the venue or a piece of furniture falling over. A truly professional speaker can go with the flow when these things occur. The person may make a joke or quip about an interruption or malfunction. In short, the person doesn’t allow a malfunctioning microphone or falling furniture to throw them off their game.

3. Likability

A professional speaker has a likable manner. This helps an audience to relax and start to become curious about what the person is going to say. Making a joke or sharing a personal experience are two things professional speakers can do to endear themselves to an audience. Many professional speakers like to approach their audience as if they are talking to a small or large group of friends. This makes a talk more personal and even relatable.

Speaker Manj Carthigaser
photo credit: TEDx Bratislava / Flickr

4. Command of the English Language

The use of correct grammar is an important quality of a professional speaker. An audience will be more inclined to listen if the speaker knows how to use the English language. A large vocabulary is another sign of command of the English language. A professional speaker knows how to choose the right word to improve the speech, lecture or talk. The person is always thinking of ways to help audience members to better understand.

5. A Clear, Strong Voice

Even the most entertaining talk is not effective if the audience can’t hear what the speakers is saying! An untrained speaker may speak too softly or drop their voice at the end of a sentence. Fortunately, these faults can be corrected. So, another sign of a professional speaker is a clear, strong voice that reaches all areas of a venue. This is something that beginning speakers have to practice and develop.

Lastly, an audience can sense whether a professional speaker is having fun at an event. Someone who enjoys speaking to groups and interacting with different types of people is going to be a welcome presence at practically any type of talk or event.