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Which Presenters Should You Emulate?

Attitude Role in Presentation?As the world's largest provider of media training, presentation training, and public speaking workshops, we know that everyone has their favorite public presenters. You might hate my taste in presenters and I might hate yours, and that’s OK. What is important is that you develop your own taste in speakers, just like you do musicians. You also need to develop the skill of separating content from delivery. If you only watch and listen to people you agree with, you will limit your abilities to improve as a speaker.

If you are a liberal Democrat, I urge you to listen to conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh for 15 minutes a week. I’m not asking you to share his beliefs but you can learn a great deal about communicating by listening to the cleverness of how he packages his messages. If you are a conservative Republican, you could benefit greatly by watching Oprah Winfrey. You might not love her social messages or her Democratic politics, but you will learn from a true master of empathy and audience connection.

At the risk of making your spouse annoyed with you, I urge you to channel surf more. Stop on C-SPAN and watch Congressional speeches for 3 minutes at a time. Analyze what you like and don't like about a presenters techniques and style. Don’t limit yourself to your own genre. If you are a banker, don’t just watch CNBC; watch Comedy Central to see how great comedians operate. If you are a politician, don’t just limit yourself to CNN and C-SPAN; try to watch the great sportscasters on ESPN.

If you continue to look at presenters and to look for techniques that you like and don't like, you will get better as a presenter you won’t be able to help it. If presenting become a passion for you, you will get better at it. There are kids with a passion for baseball who know the stats of every New York Yankee for the last 70 years. You get good at what you focus on. If you focus on great presenters, your own standards will be brought up in the process.

There is one other great presenter that you need to watch regularly. That is you. It’s not enough to watch others, you must watch yourself. If you don’t consider yourself great yet, then you will soon if you practice enough. You need to watch yourself regularlynot once every five years which is just rare enough to be horrified by your aging looks. You need to watch yourself every time you make a presentation. Tape yourself and figure out what do you like that is great, then do more of it. What do you not like, then do less of it.

If you do this long enough, what you will find is that when you watch world renowned celebrities on TV speaking, you will no longer be in awe. You will appreciate the things they do well, but you will know exactly what it is and why you like it. And you will find faults with even the best. And eventually, you will conclude that you can do as well or better as anyone you see presenting on any channel.

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