Every month it’s our mission to bring you an interesting talk from an engaging speaker. So, here at CreativeMornings Cardiff, we’re always on the lookout for good speakers. But what makes a ‘good’ or even ‘great’ speaker? After all, different speakers can be engaging in their own way. Some are quiet in their delivery, some gregarious, some make you laugh and some have even made the CM Cardiff audience cry! So, we thought we’d throw the question over to you. Here’s what you had to say.
‘Nerves is a good sign in a speaker’
Sarah Morris, founder of CreativeMornings Cardiff said: “A good talk for me is genuine, speaks of personal experience and is well researched/insightful. In my experience nerves in a speaker is a great sign and means you’re in for a brilliant talk, because it shows they give a shit!”
Luke Stanton of Open Eye Photography and CreativeMornings team member reckons a good speaker is: "Someone who’s informative and funny but also leaves enough things open to encourage interesting questions and audience engagement.”
As a member of the Ignite Cardiff team, the speaking event featuring inspirational talks from passionate people, Steve Dimmick has introduced more than 300 different speakers to the stage, covering all topics imaginable. He says the best speakers were: “well-practised and knowledgeable”.
On Twitter, the team behind Cardiff Bay creative co-working hub Rabble Studio said: “Authenticity, passion, story and amazing use of GIFs!”
Designer Martin Lee Grügel responded with: “Articulation, sense of humour, openness and a strong sense of purpose.”
Product design student Kirsten Mark said: “#Storytellers #positivethinking #honest #toptipsshared”.
Communications specialist Emina Redzepovic said: “Honesty, passion, journey, humbleness, openness”.
Creative director Deborah Withey’s top ‘good speaker’ attributes are: “Enthusiastic delivery and knowledge of subject”.
And ‘honest’ got a few mentions. Marketer Louise Reed said : “Honest, humble, inspiring and insightful” and filmmaker Ben Smith tweeted: “Honesty, humility, insight”.
‘Cut through the noise’
Dan Tyte is the managing director of Cardiff communications agency Working Word PR and author of the novel Half Plus Seven. As someone called on to speak at events, as well as having organised many speakers for events over the years, we asked Dan – what makes a ‘good’ speaker?
“People have got enough noise in their lives so the speakers that cut through this for me are the ones that make it feel like you’re having a conversation with a friend you’d like to have, feeling comfortable, challenged and learning something new about yourself and the world around you.”
Miranda Bishop is the managing director of social media agency Talking Social Media and one of the team behind Ignite Cardiff. So, Miranda knows a thing or two about what makes a good speaker. She says:
“I always think being a good speaker is more than just projecting your voice, staying planted and making good eye contact. Really great speakers have something authentic to them and aren’t trying to play the role of a typical ‘public speaker’.
“I met a fantastic speaker last year who sat down for his whole talk and isn’t naturally gifted at projection but had figured out his style and was totally authentic to his personality. He was a brisk speaker so left plenty of well-timed pauses. He was also very, very technically minded, so he broke up the complex information with funny techy memes. It meant that even if you weren’t following the technical side of his talk, you could very easily follow the concepts he was showing.
“When I talk I like to be well-prepared but I also like to have a few stories, jokes or anecdotes in my back pocket that I can pull out depending on certain responses from the audience. It means that I’m not just following a set script and that people get much more of a genuine experience with me.”
We want to hear from you!
We are Creative Mornings Cardiff# and we want to hear from you! Want to deliver a 20-minute talk at a future CM Cardiff event? Do you know someone you think would make a great speaker? Get in touch! We’d love to hear your suggestions. You can watch videos of past CM Cardiff speakers here.
Photography by Open Eye Photography & Gareth Strange
Blog by Talia Loderick