Home > NewsRelease > Are Great Speakers Born or Made?
Are Great Speakers Born or Made?
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, July 11, 2021


“Good transitions can make a speech more important to the audience because they feel they are being taken to a positive conclusion without having to travel a bumpy road.”

– Joe Griffith

Are great speakers born or made? Great question.

Let’s define what a great speaker is. A great speaker:

  • Uses his or her audience as his or her guide for presentation content and delivery method

  • Makes it easy for his or her audience to follow the presentation giving them a “roadmap” to follow in the beginning, middle, and end of his or her presentation

  • Fields questions easily because he or she has heard the question before and has rehearsed the best possible answer

With this description of a great speaker, we will now discover what role genetics has in making a speaker great.


There is no doubt your personality has a significant effect on your speaking – both negative and positive.

We all know the person (he or she may be you) who never seems to be at a loss for words. This person can walk into a room full of strangers and immediately have a meaningful conversation with anyone in that room.

This person appears relaxed in their conversation and is thoroughly enjoying the conversation.

You may sometimes talk about this person as if they have “the gift of gab.” You admire them for what they can do interacting with people they know or strangers.

As human nature is, you may also resent them because of his or her “gift of gab.”

The tragedy is this ne’er do well person with the “gift of gab” usually has no idea if they are mesmerizing the other person or boring them to death. Like Bobby Darin’s mother told Bobby in the movie “Beyond the Sea,” these people think they have it. It is that ease they have with people.

You may start feeling, “Why can’t I have it.” The fact of the matter is you can get it if you don’t already have it. The following two sections will tell you how.

It is a shame, but when you think you are the best, whether you are a tennis player, a piano virtuoso, or a public speaker, you stop growing, trying, and learning.

Genetics do affect our speaking ability, but they certainly are not sufficient to become a great speaker. To prepare for a great speech, use your audience as your guide.

Your Audience is Your Guide

Professional speakers know their presentations always concentrate on what the audience needs and wants. Aspiring speakers may not.

A presentation is all about them (your audience) and not at all about you.

Some speakers were born with advanced oratorical skills. These skills are a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because you can speak at a higher level with ease, and it is a curse because you may think there is nothing more to learn in speaking. These people will eventually reach a glass ceiling of speaking beyond which they cannot rise. They need to break that glass ceiling to become a great speaker.

If your presentation is based on your audience’s needs and wants, it will feel good. They identify with what you are saying, and it is evident to them how to use what you are saying to improve their personal and professional lives.

Learn your audience’s professions. Learn your audience’s frustrations and “pain points.” Learn what your audience has been craving for some time.

If you do, you will be on the road to preparing a presentation that will make you feel good because you listened to your audience and you are helping them to solve the challenges in their personal and professional lives.

You may be asking, “Are genetics and using my audience as my guide sufficient to become a great speaker. The answer is no. Did I mention it also takes hard work to be a great speaker?

Hard Work

There is no easy road, no magic pill, no flip of a switch that can make you a great speaker. However, from wherever you are in your speaking expertise, it is inimitably possible with the proper focus and a good bit of persistence on your part to become a great speaker. Remember, the tortoise beat the hare in the race because of persistence.

So, where does all this hard work start? When you take a road trip, you always start from where you are, and that is precisely where you should start before you start your quest for speaking greatness.

This sounds flippant, but if you want to become a better speaker, you have to speak – a lot. So, where can you get these opportunities to speak? The answer? Join a local Toastmasters International club.

Toastmasters clubs usually meet twice a month for one to two hours each meeting. The meeting has three parts: (1) delivery of prepared speeches, (2) delivery of impromptu speeches otherwise known as Table Topics, and (3) evaluating prepared speeches.

Even after considering your audience’s needs and wants, you may be asking yourself how do you put together a speech? I produce content and organize that content using a method I call “Cards on the Wall.”

In “Cards on the Wall,” you write each topic idea on a separate Post-it note (“yellow sticky”) and then logically group them on a wall or board. After all your ideas are on the board, you will magically start seeing patterns of your ideas emerging. Next, rearrange the Post-it notes under the logical patterns. These logical patterns become the main points of your presentation. Use Cards on the Wall, and you will never lack for main points for your presentations.

Genetics does affect how comfortable we are with others, but it is not sufficient to become a great speaker. However, to become a great speaker, you must always let your audience guide your content and delivery method. Additionally, like anything else worth doing, great speaking requires hard work.

You must have confidence in yourself; however, too much confidence causes you to stop growing, trying, and learning.

When you are all alone at your laptop developing your presentation, it is sometimes hard for you to realize the hard work you are putting in will reap many benefits for your audience and yourself.

Just last week, on the 4th of July, America celebrated its two-hundred forty-fifth (245) birthday. The symbol of America is the bald eagle. Strong, aware of its surroundings, and constantly vigilant, the bald eagle is a sign of excellence. The bald eagle travels through the sky alone and not in flocks. And you, my friend, will have to travel for a good bit of the time alone as you develop the best presentation for your audience.

Be proud of who you are and be proud of the bald eagle, the symbol of America!

It could be worse. Benjamin Franklin wanted the chicken as our national symbol!

Would you rather America’s symbol be a bald eagle or a chicken?

Call to Action

  • Use all the speaking gifts you were born with to help others

  • When you create content for your presentations, always use your audience as your guide

  • Never scrimp on the hard work it takes to develop and deliver a great speech

“The energy level of the audience is the same as the speaker’s. For better…or for worse.”

– Andras Baneth

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster, in 2002 because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.frankdibartolomeo.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Frank can be reached at frank@frankdibartolomeo.com and (703) 509-4424.

Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
Jump To Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Jump To Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
Contact Click to Contact