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Public Speaking Tips: Presentation Personalities

by Ken Bradford

What's Your Presentation Personality?

He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.
Lao-tzu, Tao te Ching (Sixth century B.C.)

The way you hold audience attention — or don’t — can affect not just your presentation, but your relationships with employees, customers and friends. Take a look at these four presentation profiles to find out what your speaking style says about you.

“D” Presentation Style

You are described as a strong, energetic, spontaneous, straightforward, creative, determined, outspoken, ambitious, and aggressive presenter. Weakness: Forceful and aggressive presentations can intimidate others. You may not sense your impact on listeners or understand how they are responding to you.

“I” Presentation Style

Most of the time you are an extroverted, enthusiastic, great talker that enjoys communicating and thrives on influencing others. Also described as convincing, magnetic, demonstrative, trusting and optimistic.Weakness: As someone who talks a lot, you may talk too much and try to persuade others through excitement, not enough facts. You dislike preparing and rehearsing, so you sometimes lack structure, which makes you less convincing as you could be.

“S” Presentation Style

S presenters are warm individuals who like guidelines. Often described as low-key, sympathetic, unemotional-poker faced, accommodating, patient, persistent, stable, thoughtful, and as a good listener. They like a calm, steady paced presentation. Weakness: Too quiet, unassertive nature could avoid the spotlight. Lacks enthusiasm selling themselves and their ideas.

“C” Presentation Style

You prefer structure and strong content that is detailed and factual. You enjoy systems and strong organized presentations. This by-the-numbers style may not like being interrupted and prefers a monologue presentation. Known to be accurate, cautious, exacting, and rule-oriented. Usually has all the facts, but has trouble convincing. Weakness: Too concerned with details and not enough with emotional motivation. Could use a more humor. Needs to be warmer and friendlier to engage others and build rapport.

DiSC Model of Behavior

First proposed by William Mouton Marston, a physiological psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard. His 1928 book, Emotions of Normal People, explains his theory on how normal human emotions lead to behavioral differences among groups of people and how a person’s behavior might change over time. Marston is also credited with the invention of the first functional lie detector.

How you present a new idea has as much to do with your success as your ability to organize content. Many well educated people fail as presenters because they do not understand their presentation style.

So figure out what works for you, then make it a new habit!

Ken Bradford, author of Fearless & Persuasive Speaking, A Communication Guide For Leaders, facilitates a nationwide leadership program for non-profit trade associations. Members nominate participants to attend the annual speaking training. www.
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