What makes a great keynote presenter?

Is it presence, is it content, is it the delivery – or is it something more – the X-Factor?

As a professional presenter myself, I’m always watching others to see what I can do to up my game with each and every talk I deliver.

On Tuesday I saw a masterclass in how to present to a corporate audience.

Col. Chris Hadfield delivered the opening keynote at the Watson Summit in London.

He had the crowd glued to him for a full 35 minutes, with all the aspects of a great presenter. He had an amazing story, that of space travel.

He told other people’s stories with skill, and he used simple props to tell a story. He also managed to weave the theme of the conference – disruption into what he was talking about. He ticked all the boxes.

Many have tried to capture the essence of what makes a great talk.

Chris Anderson, TED’s Curator has written a book about it, and my friend Jeremy Waite has used Watson to analyse his talks.

In the end, you have to also have the X-Factor I believe, something that cannot be taught or rehearsed.

As a bonus, I’ve enclosed a clip of Chris performing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – with a broken hand! How do you rate presenters? What characteristics do you look for when booking a great speaker?