There seems to be an aura around certain speakers--Steve Jobs and John Chambers in the business world; Bill Clinton in politics. What they have in common is an amazing gift for connecting with audiences in their own personalized way. I've seen John Chambers speak several times, and I've always been impressed with his ability to connect in a personal way with his audience. He has the techniques of a master speaker--smooth, natural gestures and body language, and a soothing voice (the mild southern accent helps). He varies his pace nicely, and move around the room with deliberation and focus. People want to believe him, whether he's speaking about Cisco's new high end videoconferencing product or Cisco's investments in India (See How Chambers Works a Room in Business Week). I've written about Jobs before HERE. But I wanted to add that, like Chambers, he has an unflappable belief in his mission and/or product. Their knowledge goes without saying.
Clinton, of course, is another kettle of fish--a politician to the core. Yet you have to admire the way he works a room. When he addresses someone, they always feel like he's focused 110% on them--perfect, steady eye contact, and an engaging warmth (the southern accent helps here too--what is it about those Southerners?). Garth has a good post about Clinton on his Presentation Zen .If you want a model for public speaking, any of these three men would be a good place to start.