WHAT KIND ARE YOU?
Are you the type of public speaker who is always well prepared, or do you wing it? Do you have a lot of personality and energy, or are you more subdued? Do you like to crack jokes, or do you stay serious?
Your public speaking style says a lot about your public speaking persona. It can give your audience insight into who you are, what you're passionate about, and how you communicate. So what kind of public speaker are you?
If you're always well prepared, it shows that you're diligent and take your presentations seriously. You want to make sure that your audience understands your points and takes away something valuable from your talk. You're probably pretty confident in your abilities, too.
If you prefer to wing it, you're probably more spontaneous and adaptable. You're comfortable thinking on your feet and don't mind improvising if necessary. You're probably pretty good at reading your audience and knowing what they want to hear.
If you're high energy, it shows that you're enthusiastic and passionate about your topic. You're probably a very engaging speaker who knows how to get the attention of your audience.
If you're more subdued, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're boring. It could just mean that you're more reserved or introverted. You might be a deep thinker who takes the time to really connect with your audience on a personal level.
If you like to crack jokes, it shows that you have a great sense of humor and you're probably pretty easygoing. You're probably the type of speaker who can really connect with an audience and build rapport quickly.
Knowing what kind of public speaker you are can help you to tweak your style to better suit your audience and your goals. It can also help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work on becoming a more well-rounded communicator. So ask yourself, what kind of public speaker are you?
WHICH KIND DO YOU WANT TO BE?
The type of persona that a speaker has depends upon how they want to be seen by their audience. When we discuss this with clients, a fun conversation usually happens. But always quite similar. Funny? Strong? Relatable? Interesting? Engaging? Knowledgeable? Energetic? Smart?
Speakers often want to be seen as funny these days. Charisma, on the other hand, is still somewhat difficult to define — it's that X factor that attracts people. When a magnetic politician or movie star enters a room, everyone turns their attention to him or her. I've met several of our recent presidents, and each of them demonstrates this talent in his or her own way. How do they manage to pull everybody's attention?
Developing that kind of charisma takes two steps that most people, speakers included, never get very far on. First, knowing as objectively as possible how you come across now, so you know where you start. Second, giving yourself permission to change that to a more desired outcome. Here’s where that polarity helps get you started. Are you an academic with deep subject knowledge? Do you demonstrate plenty of expertise, but perhaps come across a little lacking in the warmth category? Or are you a happy extrovert, delighted to talk to anyone, but with less of an ability to convey your expertise?
Once you've decided on your aim, you can begin working on either side of the polarity to build your persona further. Let's say that people have complained that your addresses are a bit dry, and you want to warm up your presence. You're an expert in lots of things, but not enough pep to get the audience over to the other side.
If that's the case, you'll need to warm up your facial expressions and body language in general to appear more open, welcoming, and engaging. It all begins with a little smile; moving on to using your eyes, eyebrows, face, and hands more expressively.
If you realize that you're already friendly enough, all you have to do is add a touch of seriousness to your personality in order to be more appreciated for your knowledge, then reverse the process by smiling less and working to become a little less expressive.
Of course, it isn't a straightforward either/or situation. There are many different shades of charisma, and there are numerous successful methods. This is simply a starting point for thinking about something that is otherwise difficult to grasp, especially when attempting to apply it to yourself.
What do you want your persona to be? If it’s not something you’ve thought about before, it’s time to start now. Knowing how you come across and optimizing your presence are essential steps on the road to becoming a successful speaker.
Want to find out what kind of public speaker you are? Get in touch today!
Public Speaking Coach, Glasgow, Scotland.