5 must-haves for professional public speakers

A sonorous voice and good diction are lovely attributes, but if you can’t transport your audience—and occasionally let them surprise you, too—you might be missing key qualities.

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I frequently chat with people who wonder whether they should go for the rarified life of a paid public speaker.

The money is appealing, of course, but mostly what they wonder is, “Do I have what it takes?” By that they mean, “Does the world want to hear me hold forth on my area of passion and expertise?”

When I ask them what their area of passion and expertise is, they’ll say something like “sales,” or “leadership,” or “IT.” That’s only the beginning of the conversation, of course, because what’s interesting is the particular insight they have into one or another of those huge fields of human endeavor.

There are thousands of leadership speakers, but only one who combines years of mastery of the martial art of aikido with a background as a Marine and experience surviving cancer. For a very particular perspective on decision making, priority setting and clarity, I recommend Michael Veltri to you. Michael’s done the work to figure out his particular voice—I say that as his coach and friend. That’s what anyone who seeks to develop a speaking career must do.

Find your niche.

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