12 qualities of a charismatic speaker

Have you ever heard a presentation and later realized how attracted you were to the presenter? No, not that kind of attraction. I mean that you felt connected and uplifted while you were listening. You came away feeling happier. The speaker was so eloquent that you were touched in some way. Even if the presentation was about selling shoes!428px-Churchill_HU_90973

That quality you experienced is called charisma. Webster defines charisma as “that special spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.” A charismatic speaker leaves an impression on the audience, large or small, that makes them want to come back for more. It’s just what you want if you are trying to sell or influence a customer. Charisma is not just for selling; the best university professors are often charismatic speakers as well.

We associate charisma with preachers, like Billy Graham, or old-time politicians, such as Winston Churchill. Could you become a charismatic speaker? The answer is yes! By breaking down charisma into its 12 individual qualities (listed here in no particular order), you can attain each quality with a little time and practice:

  1. Charismatic speakers are self-confident and assured. They don’t appear nervous or ill at ease.
  2. Charismatic speakers seem to be enjoying themselves; they are playful, humorous, happy.
  3. Charismatic speakers are lively & energetic.
  4. Charismatic speakers are knowledgeable about their subject.
  5. Charismatic speakers look good, they have a stage presence.
  6. Charismatic speakers speak without stumbling, using full sentences and correct grammar, without “ers” and “uhs.”
  7. Charismatic speakers have an opinion about their subject. They care about it. You can sense their emotion, enthusiasm, and conviction.
  8. Charismatic speakers relate their topic to the broader scheme of things, they are expansive, inspiring, and uplifting.
  9. Charismatic speakers create a strong rapport with their audience, they connect.
  10. Charismatic speakers are positive in outlook, cheerful, and cooperative.
  11. Charismatic speakers are organized; their points are clearly connected and logically follow one another, with an overview at the beginning and a conclusion at the end. They are precise and complete.
  12. Charismatic speakers (genuine ones) are honest, well mannered, patient, fair, and responsible.

By developing these 12 qualities, you too can become a charismatic speaker. You can be that person that audiences feel attracted to and connected with, whose eloquence leaves people uplifted and enlivened. Work at it and you will succeed!

45 comments to 12 qualities of a charismatic speaker

  • Santosh

    Greatly helpful for me as I wish to become a good orator in my area of work on conservation education.

  • Nicoo Jay bungaos

    Thank you.

  • Gabe Dibble

    Ive been pondering Toastmasters for quite sometime and just found a group in Lansing. Im excited and nervous all at once. I stutter when I talk, not like an ordinary stutter. I pause….alot. And well its just something that some people laugh at and others kinda sympathize..its embarrassing. Throw that in the mix, and youve got me. Thanks for the encouragment.

  • Gabe,
    I wish you the best of luck! I think that if you let people know in advance, they’ll be supportive. And feel free to use notes as support.

  • […] an effective communicator is a valuable skill at work and beyond. Ellen Finkelstein says charismatic speakers are: 1. Confident 2. Joyful, playful, humorous, happy 3. Lively, energetic 4. […]

  • aska

    your article is very useful for my college….
    thank you very much….mrs.elen
    :)

  • Marvin Brown

    Hello, I am the founder and Chief National Spokesman for positive youths and families at Respect Doctor International and I would like to say that I really enjoyed the information that you provided. I have been a speaker for over 20 years and I love it! Keep up the good work! Our wedsite is under reconstruction but thanks again and bye for now! MB

  • yeshi

    I went through the tips/ information you have provided. It is really helpful for teacher like me who need to deliver time and again.

  • Ranjan

    Its really wonderfull. Please send some tips on public speaking where I have to face a huge mass and deliver energetic and positive messages.
    Regards
    Ranjan

  • Here are all the tips related to delivery of a presentation: http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/category/delivery/

  • Muskaan Satija

    Thanks for the wonderful tips….

  • Muskaan Satija

    Its really helpful

  • Max

    Thank you so much for your great work. I am a radio Manager and a presenter. Your stuff has helped me a lot to communicate well on the radio. Please send me more stuff. I am also a lecturer. I teach leadership in communication at a University in Africa.
    May God bless you.

  • Max, Thanks for your kind comments. Communicating well on the radio is indeed a challenge, since you have only your message and your voice.

  • ivy

    I plan on becoming a speaker to the youth and the needy in Africa, so this i believe is going to be of GREAT HELP.

  • Good luck in your work!

  • Ajay

    Thank You Ellen. It’s very helpful.

  • Glad to help. Good luck with whatever project you’re working on!

  • Harshita

    it was an amazing answer…thanx a ton madam..learnt a lot from you..thanku for being so helpful leaving me enlivened :)

  • Kelechi

    Ellen; great, for u’re not selfish at disclosing how to become a public speaker. U’re wonderful. I would love to have ur e-mail adress so that i can learn more 4rm u. Here is mine ([email protected]). God bless

  • Thanks for your kind comments. My email address is on my About page or click the Contact link. Easy to find. To learn more, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/ppt_submit.html. Also, you’ll find many valuable resources at my e-store at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/ppt_estore.html. Good luck in your endeavors!

  • Nick

    Dear Ellen,

    This is clear and very useful advice. I guess the aspect I would like more information on would be intonation, voice projection and rhetorics. Some speaker have an almost poetic quality while others have an ability to play with their voice for dramatic effect. In comparison, I find myself almost boring or technocratic when speaking to my class. Can you suggest something?

  • I find that when I’m teaching, I also sound overly intellectual. Remember that the topic will affect your approach. It would probably be inappropriate (and funny!) to sound like a preacher in the classroom. But when practicing speaking, record yourself and listen to the recording. Make some changes and see how it sounds. The feedback will help you modulate your voice more without overdoing it. Good luck!

  • Frough

    Hi Dear Ellen
    I enjoy alot from your article.I am an Iranian 54 years old lady.I am living in Pune India.As I am writer and poet I like to become a very powerful orator .I am very good speaker in my mother toung language Persian.But I like to be as well in English language also.Do you know any courses or some special place in Pune where I can join?
    Thank you and God bless you
    Frough

  • Frough,
    Since I live in the United States, I have no ideas, but I should think that you could do a search for public speaking training and find something local where you live. Good luck!

  • ismail pullancheri

    it is very much useful for me because iam a salesman and pharmacist to convince and to make understand the ptients and my customers. thanks a lot..

  • Nampwera

    Am so much answered with the above well stated points, i have found some already in me while learning the new ones. so with great hope and burning desire under God’s guidance i believe i will bear all and one time i will be the great speaker the world has ever seen.

  • Goos job. Thanks for sharing so many helpful tips.

  • Naveen

    IT is very helpful thyanks………………………………………………………………………

  • Sanjay Kadam

    Dear Sir,

    I am always feeling stressfull whenever I will to speak in public. I really want to improve myself, I would like to say something but most of the time I forget while speaking.

    I will be grateful if you could help me on how I can improve myself while speaking at public, how I can improve my thoughts, how I can make start of speaking in public etc.

    I wont able to speak wiht confidence and in systematic order. I want to be a winner please help me to become a good speaker.

    Regards,

    Sanjay Kadam

  • I would recommend joining the nearest Toastmaster group. They are all around the world. It will give you practice in a small group, supportive environment. I would also suggest videotaping yourself and practicing in front of friends. And when you speak in public, feel free to have a few notes if you tend to forget. Finally, be sure to practice several times before you speak, so that what you’re saying becomes second nature to you. Good luck!

  • Susan Ullah

    I would love to join toastmasters but there is none close by at this time, I was wondering if and how to get one started in my town? I appreciate if someone could help me with information, thanks so much!

  • Nicanor Santos

    Do you know any public speaking training for kids? I want my kids to become comfortable speaking to a crowd or big audience.

  • Ramachandra.

    Realy, its a wonder full tips for speakers, And me also learnt lot of points,and i would like to accept same kind of tips in future….

  • Rev.stephen Amakoye

    I like that and I would like to be one of the eloquent speakers.

  • Ronel Button

    Just wanted to thank-you dearly. Feeling really inspired and enriched at the same time. Cant wait to devlope my skills with the 12 tips I feel well on my way to becoming a fabulous inspiring charismatic speaker. The burning desire feels so much stronger now, now that I have read your 12 tips.

    God richly bless you.

    Many thanks

    Ronel Button.

  • thomas

    Want to be a charismatic speaker because of my career as a teacher.

  • Waddia

    Thank you so much, Ellen.
    Checking out and analyzing these qualities provide you how can you batter awesomeness. But the problem here is: how are you going to do that? I mean, it’s just the beginning for me to deal talks and all that stuff – and as a matter of fact I’d never been able to put my “speaking” status par excellence. People say I’ve got style; but to me I’m hilarious always. When you step over that mic and eyes meet a plethora of audience that’s where my fear comes from. As a “beginner” (I consider) I just want to find a way out how can I get rid of stuttering and swinging words; vacillation also gets in way. Some people suggested to join Toastmasters club, but then I’ll have to work on time management as life is really hectic. I’ve a good history nevertheless of dealing with speaking but now I feel like I’ve got some trauma or psychological changes that are affecting my confidence. Anyhow, thanks again.

  • foday kamson kamara

    i always have passion to address the public or audience at all times but my office of work does not respect views of others. AM OPERATING IN AN AUTOCRATIC WORKING ENVIRONMENT WHICH ATIMES FRUSTRATING MY PASSION. I DO ATIMES WORK ON THE STREET ASSUM ADDRESSING AUDIENCE AND TALKING ALONE. THIS WORRIES ME SOMETIMES AND I JUST FEEL LIKE RESIGNING TO FIND ANOTHER JOB. I HAVE STRONG CONVICTION OF BEING A SUCCESSFUL POLITICIAN OR LECTURER IN FUTURE. WHAT IS YOUR ADVISE?

  • foday kamson kamara

    I DO FIND IT A CHALLENGE TO FACE THE PUBLIC IF AM GIVEN AN EMERGENCY TASK TO ADDRESS OR CHAIR A PROGRAMME. I DO PANIC AND WORRY. HOW WILL ONE COMBATS SUCH WEAKNESS?

  • First of all, I wouldn’t call it a weakness — I think most people would find it a challenge to present with no preparation time. Why don’t you write up some notes from your past experiences of what worked and what didn’t? And out of that, create a global outline that could work in multiple situations. For example, 1) introduce yourself 2) state the purpose of the meeting, 3) introduce others as appropriate 4) state a general structure for the meeting 5) start with 3 main points that you’ll cover, 6) unpack those points and 7) conclude & summarize. Then, when you have to address a group, you can quickly list 3 main points and the rest is pretty much automatic. Make sense?
    Thanks for the question–I’m going to write a blog post about it because I think it’s an issue that is of interest to many people. (If you aren’t a subscriber to the PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, I invite you to subscribe — you’ll get notification when I publish new posts, including one on your topic. Please go to http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/ppt_submit.html)

  • I can feel your frustration. I recommend finding places to speak outside of your work. See if there’s a Toastmaster Club where you live (they’re all around the world) — if not, maybe you can start a branch. I don’t know what you would like to speak about, but you can practice on any topic. Call up clubs and ask if they need a speaker — examples are networking business clubs, fraternal organizations, etc. Good luck with it!

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