What type of public speaker or presenter are you really?
What does it take to be a really good public speaker?
There are many ingredients of course but a key element is having a high level of self-awareness.
This is commonly known as ‘Emotional Intelligence’ or ‘EI’. The text books describe it as, ‘The ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions’. Life can be complex enough, so perhaps a simpler term is self-awareness; a key element of mindfulness.
A good public speaker has the ability to understand what makes them tick. In addition, it pays to have a good insight into:
– Their own personality
– How they think
– What they believe and value
– Their strenghths and weaknesses
– What triggers them emotionally
As if that’s not challenging enough, it continues. A really good public speaker has a level of insight into what makes others tick too.
There are many different styles of presenting. It’s incumbent on each of us to have a high level of self-awareness of our personal public speaking style. Once we do, we can learn skills to adapt and modify our style where needed. The challenge is doing so where appropriate whilst retaining our authenticity.
There are many on-line psychometric evaluations to assess your personal style. The long list of types, include:
There are plently more where they came from.
Every public speaker is different, no exceptions. With that in mind, we really shouldn’t put people into boxes. Our audience, topic, goals and style of presenting can and will change as appropriate.
That said, in the interest of learning a little more about ourselves it’s worth taking a first step. For that purpose, I’d like to focus on four styles in particular.
Doing so will open the door to giving us a glimpse of ourselves. It can be very helpful and we can have a little fun in the process.
It can be very helpful to think about our default communication style and unconscious preference.
Here are four possibilities
Perhaps your style is that of a Commander:
– Strong willed and very assertive in getting your point across
– Taking authority and make it clear who’s in charge
– Adopting quite a fast pace
Presenters who are more naturally biased towards the Commander can make powerful speakers. Largely because their knowledge, self -belief and confidence is unshakable. They also have the ability to focus exclusively on their message. The commander has the gravitas and credibility to being taken seriously.
If you have an affinity with Commander and are open to some coaching you may wish to consider:
– Paying more attention to your tone, pitch and pace
– Projecting a more relaxed image (where appropriate)
– Adding a little more colour, drama and passion
– Using more stories to engage your audience
Taking your audience on a journey moving from a ‘tell them’ to ‘help them see and feel it’ style of presenting can be very helpful. The use of much a wider vocal range, empathy and story-telling could be very helpful for the Commander.
Perhaps you are more of an Analyst:
– Serious and very absorbed in the information
– Love to uses facts, statistics and data
– Very structured and organised
Analysts can make great presenters too. It’s often hard to argue with the facts, as that’s the source of the Analyst’s presentation. You can be very confident that whatever they tell you will be reliable and grounded in research. You know it can be trusted. Often the Analyst is also a perfectionist.
If you have an affinity with the Analyst and are open to some coaching you may wish to consider:
– Using slides sparingly and wisely by choosing a few simple images
– Focus on taking your audience on a journey rather than bombarding them with facts
– Telling your audience how you feel and helping them to feel it too
– Relaxing a little and having some fun
Moving from a pure data mindset, to a hearts and minds style of presenting could be very helpful to the Analyst.
Next up would be the Facilitator
The Facilitator also has a great deal to offer when gracing the public speaking platform:
– Warm and accepting
– Steady and calm
– Patient and considerate
Facilitators have a gift of tuning into the way people feel. That helps them to adapt and adjust their presentation as needed. Their only interest is in building relationships. They are natural rapport builders and people generally appreciate their charm and attention.
If you have an affinity with the Facilitator and are open to some coaching you may wish to consider:
– Getting to the point a little more quickly
– Taking a few more risks
– Be willing to reach beyond your comfort zone
Public speaking and presenting is all about people. As a result, the Facilitator is already in a very strong position to excel as an exceptional presenter.
Last but by no means least we have the Motivator:
– Stimulating to listen to and be around
– Likes to talk and loves to present
– Presents with passion, energy and enthusiasm
The Motivator knows how to connect with an audience and to command and keep their attention. They can bring a presentation to life with energy and passion. Many make a great storyteller. They are also often remembered.
If you have an affinity with the Motivator and are open to some coaching you may wish to consider:
– Developing a more objective mind set
– Spending a little more time on the detail
– Taking a more logical approach where you can and stay focused on the key points
With such passion, energy and enthusiasm the Motivator is in a strong position to thrive as a presenter.
The truth about titles
As I noted earlier, it’s not really appropriate to put people into boxes. It does however make sense to encourage people to think about their style of delivery. It pays to know how this may help or hinder us in getting the results we want. Understanding the impact we have on our audience is vitally important.
The titles here are arguably, irrelevant. If you’re a speaker and reading this you may well say, ‘hogwash! I’m none of the above’. If you do, then we would be inclined to agree with you completely. I’d simply encourage you to think about what you’re really like as a public speaker.
“Practice yourself in little things, and thence proceed to greater.”
If you’d like to learn a little more about your presentation style, take our free ‘Style Review’.
If you need help presenting:
– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.
– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.
– Get yourself some excellent presentation training
If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and public speaking coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.