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Finding Your Speaking Style

We’ve all heard a speaker who has us hanging onto their every word. We’ve also heard a speaker that has us checking our emails (or worse) putting us to sleep.  Becoming a great communicator is a skill. And like any other skill, it needs to be practiced and honed over time.  

The question is – what does ‘great’ look like? One way to answer this question is to identify a speaker you love listening to. It could be someone you work with, a celebrity, politician, business person, comedian, public figure, etc. and ask yourself:

  • What do I like about them? 
  • What do I think makes them great?
  • What sets them apart from other speakers I’ve seen?

To get you started, here are a few speakers we love. We recognize that you’re not training to deliver the next acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize or preparing for a stand-up comedy special on Netflix, but we do think it’s always a good idea to know what ‘great’ looks like when it comes to public speaking…so take a few minutes to explore different speakers and form an idea of what you like (and don’t like). 

Here’s a list of attributes for you to reference as you watch: 

  • Confident

  • Funny/good use of humour

  • Energetic/passionate

  • Being prepared/ knowledgeable

  • Clear voice

  • Persuasive

  • Authentic/genuine

  • Good body language/posture

  • Genuine

  • Strong storyteller

  • Engaging

  • Interesting/informative content

  • Professional

  • Animated

  • Casual/informal Good voice projection

  • Makes it look effortless/natural

There is no question that each of the speakers we mentioned above are excellent communicators. They’re confident, polished, and look like they’re actually enjoying it.

🌟 More importantly, notice that each of their communication styles is different and unique to them. 🌟

Developing Your OWN Speaking Style

Too often, when we start on our speaking journey we think to ourselves, “I want to speak like “Oprah Winfrey” or “Michelle Obama” or “Ali Wong.” We try to change how we speak, move and carry ourselves, to be more like another person. 

But the truth is – the only person who can speak like Michelle Obama is… Michelle Obama.

…and the only person who can speak like you…is YOU!

We each have our own speaking style and practicing public speaking doesn’t mean changing your speaking style (this is important to remember!). It’s about finding it, getting comfortable with it and then polishing it. Your style is yours, and yours alone. Having our own voice allows us to let go of trying to communicate like someone else, and instead focus our attention on improving our existing strengths and working on areas that require improvement.

As you practice your speaking skills, one of your objectives could be starting to pay attention and identify your speaking style. Maybe you’re super animated or like to story tell. Maybe you strike a more serious tone or like to keep things light and informal. 

💣 Truth bomb: Whatever your style is, remember that you’re not trying to be like someone else. You’re trying to become a better, more confident version of YOU.

Worksheet: Understanding Your Speaking Style

Use this worksheet to evaluate your speaking style.

How to use this worksheet:  

Option 1: To better understand your speaking style watch a video of yourself presenting and evaluate yourself using the worksheet. 

Option 2: If you want a more accurate assessment, ask a trusted friend or a work buddy to complete the evaluation for you

Find your speaking style now by downloading the worksheet!

Interested in becoming a member or partnering with Speak for Success for your team?

👩🏻‍💻You can register today or book a call with one of our Learning Specialists to find out how we can support you or your team. 

Contact Speak for Success

Overall, public speaking is a GREAT way to improve self-confidence by helping you overcome your fears, enhance your communication skills, and build self-esteem. With practice and dedication, you can improve your overall self-confidence. 

Plus with Speak for Success, it can also be fun, safe and supportive.

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