What would you call somebody that has a strong way with words, especially in terms of public speaking?


An orator. The definition is a public speaker, particularly one who is skilled and forceful with their words.



There is elocutionist also.

a public speaker trained in voice production and gesture and delivery

And a little passage from the history of speech:

The success of lyceums attests to the value Americans placed on elocution and oratory early in the 19th century. In keeping with this emphasis a number of individuals began providing elocution lessons for those interested in improving their own ways of speaking, reading aloud, giving oral presentations, or singing.

Elocutionist was the name given to both those who performed orations themselves and those who taught others how to perform. These US specialists in oral presentation called themselves elocutionists, following the already established elocution movement in the United Kingdom.

  • 1
    Elocution has more to do with the formation of the words than the ability to select powerful words for public speaking. It is a great word, though. – David M Feb 28 '14 at 2:00
  • @David M: Orator is a common usage for a public speaker but the question suggests for an eloquent speaker as well. Luckily, "eloquent" and "elocution" have the same roots so elocutionist ideally suited. – ermanen Feb 28 '14 at 5:22
  • I actually don't see the word eloquent anywhere in the OP's question. But, orator implies eloquent as well. Click on the source in my answer, and you will see it implied in the definition. You wouldn't call just anyone who walks up to a microphone an orator. You'd just call them a speaker. – David M Feb 28 '14 at 5:27
  • Orator came to my mind as an answer too, as you already gave it as an answer, I wanted to give elocutionist as an alternative answer. "orator" can mean a public speaker and a good public speaker also. I did not mean that orator is not eloquent. I'm just giving extra information about etymology. "eloquent" is in the title by the way. – ermanen Feb 28 '14 at 15:27
  • Oops! Missed that! And who down voted this? It's an apt word, it just misses the mark by a hair. – David M Feb 28 '14 at 16:14

Well the professional job they would have would be announcer or host and in the broadest sense, politician.

In clubs there is often a toastmaster.

For the literary types you could use rhetorician.


Depending on the quality of their approach to oratory, you could call them:

a rhetor, a logodaedalist, a logomaniac, or a logorrheic.

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