What is your speaking style? How do you speak to groups of people in a way that is uniquely you? After years of watching and working with speakers, I have noticed certain patterns of delivery that fall into the following buckets:
The fiery preacher is passion on steroids. He/she has a keen sense of which sentences to repeat or emphasize to create the most dramatic effect, and he says them loudly with lengthy pauses in between to give the audience a chance to reflect back with applause or even an “amen.”
He/she is a master of drawing us in with a twinkle in her eye and great storytelling. Metaphorically, she sits on a stool, surrounded by eager listeners. Scanning the room quietly, she says, “And you know what happened next?” And the listeners, wide-eyed and leaning forward, nod their heads. She’s got you, and she loves it.
This guy or gal gets you laughing from the minute he takes the stage. He, too, is a storyteller, and as he spins his web of humor and paces across the stage, you begin to realize that his “long joke” will have a punchline. And that punchline, while funny, is a lesson or game changing insight.
The brilliant scientist presents his/her research to an audience that gasps in amazement in all the right places, and leaves her audience amazed or impressed by the learning. Whether she is an architect who plans to erect state-of-the-art, ecologically sound communities in the desert, or a biologist presenting a new breakthrough in medical technology, her visuals are fact-based and stunning.
The most successful speakers use many of the above techniques to captivate their audiences. What’s most important for you, as a speaker, is to find your own, original and authentic style.