Navigation OnFeb 22, 2023
Not every presenter’s delivery style, tone, and sound resonate with me all the time, including my own! In fact, I delivered a presentation recently where, upon reflection, facilitating more/leading the conversation less, and allowing for some additional space for breakout discussion, could have added clarity to the overall message and may have helped empower the audience to reach their own practical take-away.
In this instance - driven a bit by my ego and pride - I chose not to go the best route, and instead, I drove the audience down an unnecessary long-storytelling road as I wrapped up the session. Looking back, in the rearview mirror, this is one of those presentation moments I could have used a “Speaker Style MapQuest” to stay on track…but I digress!
With multiple routes to take, in the midst of the presentation, I didn’t have the power of hindsight, that reflection perspective, the gift of time, so I turned, on the fly, and went off my regular path, to a speaking style that isn’t my usual way. I chose, with very little time left in the session, to pick a different route, and take the audience on a journey with a lengthy story to drive the point home. I got there, but there may have been a safer, more efficient, authentic route to take.
Veering from my normal speaking style and adding that extra story turn didn’t add much value to the message, but going there – and forcing the audience to go there with me – got my wheels turning: As presenters, we should certainly focus on connecting to the audience, but first and foremost, we should focus on connecting to our particular voice, our speaker sound, our unique presentation style…so we can then authentically connect with the audience.
The Game On team and I believe everyone is a presenter in some form or fashion, and as presenters, connection is a powerful tool for all of us. When we talk about connecting to the audience, whomever that audience may be, we should first interpret that word “connection” as an alignment to our unique gifts as speakers, educators, coaches, presenters. In these various roles as leaders, we all have different ways to effectively deliver a message, and knowing our natural and most comfortable presenting styles is crucial for all of us if we are to continue to grow as communicators.
On this journey to improve, the Game On team and I created a “Speaker Style” roadmap to help presenters identify delivery strengths and acknowledge areas for growth. This framework has helped me navigate and find my way, and I hope you find it a helpful guide on your path as a presenter:
MOTIVATOR: The gift to bring the energy, and encourage and uplift with powerful stories, meaningful metaphors, and inspiring examples, while moving the audience into action.
ENTERTAINER: The gift to bring joy, levity, and positive laughter into every exchange, while delivering a captivating and entertaining message, with purposeful and authentic engagement.
FACILITATOR: The gift to create some space and lead with humility and compassion, inspiring and inviting inclusion, while empowering others to share their voice and collaborate well.
CHALLENGER: The gift to say what needs to be said rather than what people want to hear, with the courage to push and challenge the audience beyond their immediate comfort zone, while maintaining and respecting boundaries.
These speaker styles are some of the more common I’ve experienced in the communication/leadership circuit, but we are certainly not limited to just these four as we find our way. During that journey, the goal is not to master just one way, but to have some balance, options, and variations in our message and try to incorporate a variety of approaches that work for us as presenters.
On the way, remember there’s no perfect route to take because there’s no perfect presenter or presentation. Just make sure the way(s) you choose to proceed honors your speaking style, amplifies your unique voice, and puts you in a position as a presenter to have some clear direction and keeps your message on track, so we can all safely, efficiently, uniquely, and authentically…navigate on!
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