8 Characteristics of a powerful presenter and public speaker

Maurice DeCastro
6 min readMar 24, 2022

Are you a powerful presenter?

The fear of public speaking and presenting has afflicted people all over the world for centuries. It remains a very real and troublesome issue still today. Mindful presenter has the solution to not only overcome presentation anxiety but to become a powerful presenter.

The ability to speak with confidence, clarity and presence is essential to our success not only in today’s workplace but across all areas of life. Despite its significance, presenting and public speaking remains something that vast numbers of people dread doing.

Adopting the 8 characteristics of a mindful presenter and will serve you well in transforming your anxiety to positive energy and become a powerful presenter.

  1. Perception

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Wayne Dyer

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if you change the way you see things. The powerful presenter:

– Focuses on their strengths as a presenter rather than their limiting beliefs and bad habits. We all have strengths; we just have to look for them.

– Sees their audience as people who are no different to themselves; someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father. They don’t just see colleagues, clients and stakeholders.

– Focuses on how they can help their audience and the difference they can make to their lives, rather than showing them how good they are at their job.

– Sees the opportunity to connect with people and make them feel something in a world where so many people feel indifferent.

2. Perfection

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” Leo Tolstoy

The quest for perfection in public speaking is a major source of anxiety.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if you held the beliefs of a powerful presenter:

– Nobody wants to see a slick, polished, memorised presentation.

– The world is crying out for authenticity.

– Your audience want you to tell them something they don’t already know in a way that you would tell anyone else you cared about.

– If you’re trying hard to be perfect you won’t enjoy it and your audience won’t enjoy it either.

3. Inspiration

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

Maya Angelou

Before you sit down to craft your presentation ask yourself two questions a powerful presenter does:

– When was the last time you felt truly inspired by a presenter and their content; what was it that made you feel that way?

– If you’ve never felt inspired by a presentation what was missing and what would it have taken for you to feel that way.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter, you:

– Created a conversation rather than a presentation.

– Ditched the bullet points and text and made it visual.

– Spoke with honesty, empathy and passion.

4. Preparation

“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” Somers White

Far too many presenters don’t prepare effectively, they think they do but they really don’t. Simply reading your own slides or notes isn’t enough.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter, you:

– Internalised your message; not memorised it. In other words, you understood your message so clearly that if you lost all of your notes you could still speak. Imagine if you didn’t have notes or slides to support you, instead you had belief in and clarity of your message

– Practiced and listened to the vocal expression of your message; how you actually sound.

– Practiced and listened to the non-verbal expression of your message. In other words, how you look and how you move when you speak.

5. Personalisation

“Anything you tell your audience which isn’t personal and relevant to them is noise.” Mindful Presenter

The only thing worse than listening to a boring presenter is listening to content which is of no real interest or value to you.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter, you ensured that:

– Everything you said to your audience was clearly personal and relevant to them as individuals.

– If you are ever stopped in your tracks and asked, ‘Why are you telling me that and why should I care’, that you have a really good answer.

– Every slide, image, number and fact you put up on a screen was relevant and meaningful to them in some way.

– Everything you shared was of value to everyone in the room.

6. Contemplation

“What we think, we become.” Buddha

The greatest gift we have as presenters is the gift of consciousness and our ability to think.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter,you:

– Contemplated on how far you’ve come, everything you’ve achieved so far and the things that inspire and empower you to succeed.

– Reminded yourself that the reason you have been chosen to present is because you know something that your audience don’t know but need to know.

– Thought about how you can find, value and express your true voice with confidence.

– Considered the lasting impression you want to leave on your audience. In other words, how you want them to feel when they return to their car or their desk.

7. Projection

“To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan…believe…act!” Alfred A. Montapert

Close your eyes and imagine every detail about what a successful presentation looks and feels like.

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter, you:

– Visualised giving a successful presentation long before you stand to speak.

– Saw your audience nodding and smiling at you in your mind before you’ve uttered a word.

– Presented a clear image in the minds of your audience of how the future will look for them if they listen to and embrace your ideas.

– Painted a picture for them of how their lives will be easier, better or happier as a result of your presentation.

8. Connection

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” John Lennon

Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if, like a powerful presenter, you:

– Stopped focusing on presenting to them and shifted all of your energy to connecting with them instead.

– Remember that we whilst we are all looking for and respect logic, we are emotional beings.

– Crafted your presentation in the knowledge that we can understand something intellectually but what really counts is how we feel about it.

– Adopted the mantra of mindful presenting; ‘connecting is everything’.

Anyone can present, with varying levels of confidence and clarity. In today’s incredibly fast paced and rapidly changing world, presenting isn’t enough.

Following the 8 mindful principles will help you to connect with your audience, lead change and be remembered for all of the right reasons.

If you need help becoming a powerful presenter:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Photo by Jonathan Sebastiao on Unsplash

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Maurice DeCastro

Author, speaker, trainer, presenter - former corporate executive passionate about personal leadership, people and results.