Public speaking courses: What makes a presenter great?

John French

Overview :

Communication Guru John French shares the 10 qualities that every great presenter should have.

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Public speaking courses are for everyone

Over the last 23 years, I have trained tens of thousands of aspirant and accomplished public speakers. These delegates have included premiers and politicians, captains of industry and countless professionals. I once even trained a high-class hooker who wanted to learn how to “sell herself” more effectively!

Over the decades, I have come to realise one very important fact: ANYONE can learn how to become an excellent presenter.

Public speaking is simply not the gift of a few. Communication is everyone’s natural birthright, and with the right coaching and polishing, we can all learn how to dazzle in front of an audience.

The 10 qualities of a great presenter

In this blog, I have assessed 10 qualities which I believe all accomplished presenters should learn and possess:

  1. Confidence – Great presenters know how to showcase their unique strengths and how to leverage these personal strengths to create a winning presentation style that helps them to shine. Remember: you are the best you. You can only be the second best anyone else, so you first need to discover what makes you special and marketable.

Everyone has a “wow” factor stemming from their personality type. On Communication Guru training programmes we uncover each client’s personality coding to reveal what innate strengths they can use to build their brands; develop a winning presentation style, and simply and easily build their self-confidence.

  1. Goal driven – Great presenters know the messages they want to communicate. They are focused and goal-oriented. The simple way to do this is to summarise your central message into one succinct sentence. This will help you to tighten your presentation story and it will also make you more succinct, clear, compelling and influential.
  2. Voice training – No matter how experienced a presenter may be, there is always something lacking if they have not had proper voice training. Vocal control, vocal ability and vocal skill are all vital to sell, motivate and have presentation presence.

Voice training empowers you to control your voice under stress; it increases clarity and projection, and it infuses colour and vocal dynamism into the presenter’s message, helping you to hold attention and to influence your audiences.

  1. Creativity – In our 21st century world, the greatest risk is for a presenter is to be boring. 21st century audiences demand stimulation and value. S “distracted generation” is coming into your auditoriums and boardrooms with their iPhones, iPads and a million dramas in their heads. All these distractors compete with the speaker for attention.

21st century presenters need to use their creativity and efforts to hook and hold audiences. This is not just at the beginning of your presentation: it is throughout the entire presentation process.

TIP: The most dangerous audience is a passive audience. Passive people get bored very quickly and lose interest. Learning how to actively engage your audiences, clients and stakeholders will really help you to build relationships and sell your ideas, products and services.

  1. Connection – Public speaking is a “contact” sport. You need to learn how to engage and connect emotionally and mentally with your audiences. Learning how to make the appropriate, and very necessary, eye contact holds your audiences’ attention. It also helps you the speaker to focus both your brain and your voice.

  2. Concise – “A speech should be like a ladies dress: long enough to cover the subject and yet short enough to be interesting!” – R. A Butler

  3. Body Language – The accomplished presenter has learned to master their body language and they know how to use his or her body language effectively to create presence, and to make an impact and reinforce each particular communication message.

Weak and negative body language (non-verbal leakage) has destroyed many a novice and nervous presenter.

  1. Visual aids – Many PowerPoint presentations I observe cause audiences to die a slow and painful death by visual AIDS! It takes knowledge, technique and skill to create and present effectively with a slide pack. Many naïve public speakers sadly end up competing with their own slides for attention, or even worse, the presenter and slides project different messages.

  2. Thinking on your feet – George Jessel once quipped that “the human brain starts working the day you are born and stops working the moment you get up and speak in public!”

For this reason, we teach our clients how your brain functions and how to construct logical and sequential thoughts. You too can learn how to think logically, laterally and creatively.

  1. Ability to control stress and stage fright – The World Health Organisation estimates that 75% of humantity are GLOSSOPHOBIC. Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and presenting.

There is nothing worse for the presenter than holding on to stress and tension. Stress impairs thinking, heightens nerves and anxiety, and has major fall out in the body and voice. Aspirant presenters therefore need to learn stress management techniques to control tension and overcome their stage fright.

Public speaking courses
Our public peaking courses help you to learn the qualities and skills that great presenters have


Anyone can become an accomplished and great presenter. Over the last two decades I have even coached severely handicapped people to become some of our country’s top motivational speakers. I know that with experienced presentation skills coaches you too can free yourself from your fears, limiting communication habits and personal blocks.

Those who have conquered their public speaking fears and who have also learned how to present effectively will tell you that public speaking can be the most liberating experience in the world. For it is only in front of an audience that you can truly discover your own personal power and the joy of creative self-expression.

Find out more

Nothing can conquers your fear of public speaking like enrolling on public speaking courses where you can learn effective communication and presentation skills from an experienced executive coach. For more information on our various public speaking programmes, e-mail the Communication Guru John French at

Here is a link to Communication Guru, John French’s LinkedIn profile:

Our Beginner public speaking course

Our beginner public speaking programme is taught in a very safe learning environment. You will learn all the essential tools and techniques to overcome your existing fears. You will also learn how to present expertly and professionally and how to deliver captivating speeches.

Our Advanced Public speaking course

This dynamic, fun and life-changing programme explores and teaches the principles that create confident and ‘wow’ presenters. This programme helps you to address and overcome your fears and develops the more experienced presenter.

Our Investment Professional Public speaking Course

Investment professionals are generally more introverted and often find spontaneous self-expression and public speaking forums a major challenge. This highly customised and strategic presentation skills programme equips investment professionals with the essential tools, models and techniques needed to overcome fears and present investment cases with skill and heightened impact.

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Free Guided Relaxation mp3

Free guided relaxation for your personal stress management

Stress Management is a vital module in all of our training programmes because stress is the greatest enemy of effective communication. Listen to this 8 minute beautiful guided relaxation by Jenny Ibbotson. It will help you to manage anxiety and develop a habit of calmness.


Stress Management is a vital module in all of our training programmes because stress is the greatest enemy of effective communication. Listen to this 8 minute beautiful guided relaxation by Jenny Ibbotson. It will help you to manage anxiety and develop a habit of calmness.


Free guided relaxation for your personal
stress management