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After clocking in at $1.9 billion in 2019, the professional speaking industry is expected to be worth a staggering $2.30 billion by the year 2025. Finding a skillful and humorous keynote speaker is imperative if you want to host a successful event or conference.

Key Takeaways

  1. SStorytelling
  2. PPassion
  3. EEngagement
  4. AAuthenticity
  5. KKnowledge
  6. EEntertaining
  7. RRelatability

The right master of ceremonies will know how to effectively build audience rapport, create a welcoming atmosphere, and keep guests engaged while making it all look easy. Identifying the key qualities of an event speaker will help set you up for success and make your function truly memorable and entertaining for everyone involved!

Keep reading, and I’ll break down the seven core qualities of any great event emcee with the acronym SPEAKER.

See Related: 8 Ways An MC Can Help Your Team Stay Motivated This Summer

#1. Storytelling

Becoming a successful keynote speaker isn’t as easy as it may seem.

When you see a great emcee on stage delivering a compelling and engaging speech, it’s likely that most people don’t even realize how much hard work goes into it.

Excellent keynote speakers often have a few key qualities that help establish them as a professional in their industry.

Though there are multiple characteristics that can help distinguish a great keynote speaker, let me break down the seven most prominent with the acronym SPEAKER.

One Mark Of A Good Keynote Speaker

When a master of ceremonies crafts a keynote speech, they often utilize plenty of personal stories.

Storytelling is how many speakers connect with their listeners.

By sharing life lessons and anecdotes, great speakers can inspire listeners while creating a dynamic and personal presentation.

Plus, storytelling can help speakers connect with their audience on a deeper level.

man speaking on stage while smiling with audience holding their phone audience confidence speech message audience speakers event audiences message audience#2. Passion

Anyone in public speaking is likely familiar with the fact that listeners don’t like to listen to boring speeches.


The best keynote speakers know how to infuse genuine passion and enthusiasm into their topics.

Often, inner emotions like passion can be shown externally via body language, gestures, and tone of voice.

That’s why it’s so important for speakers to focus on their nonverbal communication.

Oozing genuine passion and intrigue also helps inspire guests to share that same excitement!

#3. Engagement

Finding ways to engage with an audience is a critical part of being a great speaker.

Ensuring that there is no barrier or divide between the person on stage and the listeners in the crowd is essential.

This is often done by incorporating plenty of audience interaction and engagement throughout the entire event.

Whether your chosen emcee includes exciting team-building activities in the event or simply wows the crowd with a bit of magic, there are endless ways for a keynote speaker to keep their listeners engaged.

And that’s what great speakers are best at!

man reading off a script to a thoughtful audience overcome obstacles audience similar challenges audience captivating storyteller events ideas speech engage audience#4. Authenticity

It’s important for any good speaker to develop their own unique speaking style.

If attendees can identify dishonesty or detachment, they aren’t going to openly listen to any words that are said.

The message of any good keynote speaker should be full of genuine authenticity and originality.

This is key.

When it comes down to it, authenticity is what makes any event truly memorable and inspiring!

Bonus: 3 Core Values Exercises To Lead Your Team Through With An Emcee

crowd watching someone speaking on a stage ability talk deliver confidence credibility conference keynote speaker sets key points lasting impression audience#5. Knowledge

Would you listen to someone who clearly has no idea what they’re talking about? Probably not!

Any great keynote speaker is knowledgeable.

Oftentimes, this is one of the things that sets speakers apart.

Keynote speakers are usually industry experts or other professional experts, and they need to demonstrate a vast amount of knowledge on whatever subject they’re speaking on.

This helps them establish credibility and expertise.

#6. Entertaining

One of the marks of a fantastic emcee is humor.

It’s important for keynote speakers to be light-hearted and playful in order to help audiences feel at ease and comfortable.

Wit and comedy should be infused into every part of the presentation.

That’s because humor and comedy are the foundation of an entertaining event!

keynote speaker in a red shirt talking on stage considerably narrows embrace change actionable takeaways work closely new ideas connect emotional level message humor#7. Relatability

Event attendees should feel like they can relate to the speaker on stage.

If there’s a profound disconnect between both parties, then the speaker isn’t doing their job right.

Being a good storyteller and offering up real stories is one way that keynote speakers can establish themselves as relatable entertainers.

After all, listeners want to feel like the speaker on stage is like them.

This level of relatability is one mark of a good speaker!

Wrapping Up

If you want to host a successful event, you need to be sure that you hire the right speaker.

By ensuring your chosen emcee has these seven fundamental qualities, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect emcee for your upcoming event!

Keep Reading: 5 Ways Your Organization Can Benefit From Holding Events

Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on InstagramFacebookPinterestLinkedIn, and YouTube.