The Ane have been unwilling to discuss exactly what the Speakers do except to state they have no governmental authority. If pressed they will say they have a function in the cross dimensional interface with the All. Not something that can be described in words. There is a First Speaker, Falan. She became First Speaker some time in the 22nd century. She wryly describes her job as "network administrator". Speakers are reluctant to speak with non telepaths. Apparently they are constantly in full contact with the All.
You didn't Ask: Understanding the Ane by Jay P. Hailey's slightly more informative. He states that the speakers are part of the mechanism by which the All is connected to the physical universe. Ane are slightly loopy because they are not all there. Part of every Ane is the 11th dimension. the speakers in a fashion that cannot really be put into words assist that. Humans are partly wired to accept the explanation, but by the time you got done having it explained you would be part of the All. It isn't that the Ane are hiding the information, but a scientific, complete explanation you can understand requires that you experience the phenomenon.
Because the speakers of the All are so connected to the All that are spacier than the average Ane by far. They find it difficult to communicate with non-telepaths without bulldozing you with the All itself.
Most speakers are the more typical introverted Ane and are never even seen by those not on Ane worlds. The numbers of speakers is unknown.
Crowns of the AllEdit
These metal and power crystal "headdress' are a telepathic buffer that makes it easier for a Speaker to communicate with people who are not Ane. It was invented by an Ansisi scientist in 2267 for Falan who is expected to appear and deal with non telepaths on a constant basis. The devices have been made for the other Speakers as well. Most do not see much use. One at least spends its time in the crotch of an oom tree. On the down side the fancy jeweled headdress reinforced the "Head of State" label. Well, you can't have everything.