6 Engaging Speakers Who Can Captivate An Audience

There are a lot of elements that go into being a great public speaker. From feeling confident and comfortable in front of a crowd to delivering talking points in a sincere and engaging way to being familiar enough with your subject material to take questions and occasionally stray from your notes. The professional orators listed here have expertise in a number of topics, from entrepreneurship to cybersecurity, and they are all skilled at communicating with audiences big and small. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Talented Public Speakers

Name Topics Addressed
Joseph Steinberg Cybersecurity & emerging technologies
Mark Pollock Resilience, acceptance, & hope
Alexa Carlin Entrepreneurship, empowerment, & personal growth
Adam Fletcher Youth & social change
Michelle Poler Facing fear, dealing with the unknown, & embracing change
Ciara Conlon Productivity & performance in the workplace

Public Speaking Skills

  • Oration
  • Gestures & body language
  • Inflection (vocal control)
  • Word choice & vocabulary
  • Sense of humor
  • Knowing an audience
  • Sincerity
  • Effective introductions & conclusions

TED's Secret To Great Public Speaking

Famous Historical Speeches

Public speaking is a tradition that dates back to Ancient Greece, and many speeches continue to be studied decades after they were first delivered. Here are a few notable examples:

Speech Speaker Year
Funeral Oration Pericles 427 BCE
The Golden Speech Queen Elizabeth I 1601
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Patrick Henry 1775
Ain't I a Woman? Sojourner Truth 1851
Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln 1863
I Have A Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963

How To Speak With Confidence

In Depth

A great speaker knows how to light up a room and captivate an entire audience. Giving a good speech isn't just a matter of expertise in the subject at hand, or compelling, communicative writing; public speaking is its own skill set, and those who practice it well can engage listeners when discussing almost any topic. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at a selection of talented speakers.

#1 on the list is Joseph Steinberg, who bills himself as a thought leader in cybersecurity and emerging technologies. He has led businesses and divisions within the information security industry for over two decades, has been called one of the top three influencers in his field worldwide, and has written books ranging from contributions to the For Dummies series to more in-depth study guides.

As a speaker, he addresses businesses and organizations on topics including cybersecurity, digital crime, privacy, and trends related to technology. Steinberg draws upon his experience in numerous areas of security, making keynote addresses at large meetings, in-conversation appearances at intimate gatherings, remarks for livestreamed sessions and webinars, and television interviews. He works with bookers to develop customized talks designed to educate attendees on relevant security topics.

Steinberg draws upon his experience in numerous areas of security, making keynote addresses at large meetings, in-conversation appearances at intimate gatherings, remarks for livestreamed sessions and webinars, and television interviews.

At #2, Mark Pollock is a motivational speaker who wishes to inspire people to build resilience and collaborate with others in order to achieve more than they thought themselves capable. Though blind, Pollock became an adventure athlete, competing in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps. He was the first blind person to race to the South Pole. After becoming paralyzed due to a fall, he set himself the goal of curing paralysis by exploring the intersection where humans and technology collide.

Pollock's speaking is best known through a 2018 TED Talk, delivered jointly with his fiancee Simone George, that was focused on resolving the tension between acceptance and hope. It gathered over 1.5 million views in its first six months online and has been translated into twelve languages. He provides virtual talks and webinars designed to help employees remain resilient, adapt to change, and collaborate with others. These web presentations are hosted with Paula Cunniffe, CEO of the Mark Pollock Trust and his Run in the Dark program.

#3 is Alexa Carlin, the founder and CEO of Women Empower X who addresses audiences across the country. Carlin has been an entrepreneur since she was in high school, and has a established a number of different businesses over the course of her life. In both her public speaking and her WEX events, she seeks to help more women pursue their passions and get to the next level in their career and life.

In both her public speaking and her WEX events, she seeks to help more women pursue their passions and get to the next level in their career and life.

Carlin has delivered motivational speeches to thousands of people at more than 100 events across the United States. Addressing crowds both large and small, she discusses women's empowerment, entrepreneurship, and personal growth, bringing together relevant anecdotes and practical strategies. Carlin has made many media appearances, sharing her advice on television outlets like ABC7 News and Cheddar TV and in publications including Refinery 29.

In the #4 position, Adam F.C. Fletcher is an internationally known expert on youth and social change who seeks to enliven and empower young people and adults everywhere to take action and make the world a better place. For more than twenty years, he has addressed audiences in the United States and Canada and worked to get young people to participate in politics and critical education.

As a speaker on youth engagement, Fletcher draws from his own life story, marked by generational PTSD and growing up in a depressed community, as well as cutting edge research. With talks on a range of topics related to young people and growing up in difficult circumstances, he takes bookings for keynote speeches, seminars, trainings, and facilitation sessions. Fletcher also consults with K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

With talks on a range of topics related to young people and growing up in difficult circumstances, he takes bookings for keynote speeches, seminars, trainings, and facilitation sessions.

The #5 entry is Michelle Poler. A self-described "fear facer," Poler's career as an inspirational speaker grew out of a graduate school project in which she made a video every day where she confronted one of her fears. Now she addresses audiences around the country and online, challenging people to step outside their comfort zone and tap into their full potential.

Poler has developed talks on subjects including dealing with the unknown and embracing change, seeking growth over safety, leading with accountability, and daring to fail. She creates customized discussions for clients such as women's organizations, companies, direct sales groups, leadership conferences, and schools and universities. Her company Hello Fears monetizes Poler's speaking through channels such as books and podcasts.

Concluding our list at #6, Ciara Conlon is an experienced speaker and coach. Billing herself as an expert in productivity and performance, she works with leaders and their teams, arguing that their subconscious mind is limiting their potential. Her mission is to help people and organizations to ditch the habits and beliefs that aren't working and make space for more creativity and innovation, in order to create happier people and workplaces.

Billing herself as an expert in productivity and performance, she works with leaders and their teams, arguing that their subconscious mind is limiting their potential.

Conlon, who has written a handful of books on productivity, success, and task completion, gives talks on subjects including productivity and performance, conscious leadership, creating a culture of innovation, and high performance habits. Her work has attracted a wide range of media coverage and has been featured in outlets including The Sunday Business Post, You Magazine, and the TV3 Morning Show.