Some people call this ‘Emotional Intelligence’ or ‘EI’ and the management and psychology books describe it as ‘the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions’. This works for many but I believe that life can be complex enough so I prefer to simply call it self-awareness; a key element of mindfulness.
To me this means having the ability to understand who we are and what makes us tick from the inside out. It means having a good insight and understanding into our personality, our thoughts, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses and crucially our emotions.
There are many different types of presenters and styles of presenting and it’s incumbent on each of us to have a high level of self-awareness and understanding as to just what our personal style and preference is. Once we have that level of insight and clarity we can begin to understand the impact we are likely to have on our audience and learn skills to adapt and modify our style where needed whilst retaining our authenticity.
If you were to undergo some form of on-line psychometric evaluation to assess and identify your personal style you are likely to find quite a long list of types, including:
Coach, Storyteller, Lecturer, Inventor, Database, Counsellor, Coordinator, Entertainer, etc.
At Mindful Presenter we recognise, respect and endorse the idea that you can’t and really shouldn’t put people into boxes. Our audience, our topic, our goals and our style of presenting can and will change as appropriate.
That said, in the interest of taking that tiny step forward to attaining a degree of self- awareness which can be so valuable, we like to begin the process of self- reflection to encourage a level of insight. There are four styles in particular we like to work with which can be very helpful and also lend themselves to having a bit of fun too. The point is to simply get speakers to at least begin to think about their default communication style and unconscious preference.
To do that of course we have to be brutally honest with ourselves first.
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 in that their knowledge, self -belief and confidence is unshakable. They also have the ability to focus exclusively on their message and 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 to those who have more of a direct approach. The use of much a wider vocal range, story- telling and slide design skills could be very helpful for the Commander.
Perhaps you are more of an Analyst:
- Serious and very absorbed in the information
- Loves to uses facts, statistics and data
- Very structured and organised
Analysts can make great presenters too especially as 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 so you know it can be trusted. Often the Analyst is also a perfectionist so you can count on them to deliver.
If you have an affinity with 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
• Tell them how you feel and help them to feel it too
• Relax a little and have 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 who 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 and therefore they can adapt and adjust their presentation as needed. Their only interest is in building relationships which makes them 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
As presenting is all about people 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 just how to connect with an audience and to command and keep their attention. They can bring a presentation to life with energy, passion and most of all is 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, enthusiasm and a desire to entertain and make people feel good the Motivator is in an enviable position to thrive as a presenter by fine tuning and crafting their natural gifts.
Now let’s not get too literal or carried away with these ideas.
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 and how this may help or hinder them in getting the results they want and understanding the impact they have on their audience.
The titles here are arguably irrelevant as 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 and simply encourage you to think about what you’re really like as a presenter and how you can take yourself to the next level.
In fact we wouldn’t dream of suggesting that you’re actually any of these or anything else for that matter until we had a chance to get to know you and work closely with you.
The purpose of this article is to simply kindle a level of curiosity for you to begin to stand back and ask yourself what you are really like as a presenter and what could you do to be the best speaker you could possibly be.
“Practice yourself in little things, and thence proceed to greater.”
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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 presentation 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.
Image: Courtesy of flickr.com