Top 5 BEST Public Speaking Role Models

Last time you were here, we covered some of the most helpful public speaking books available online. If you haven’t read that post yet, check that out here! This week, we’ll be going over some of the most talented speaking role models!

When you’re just dipping your toes into the world of public speaking, giving a presentation seems daunting. It’s one thing to hear or read some helpful tips; it’s another completely to see them in action. One of the best ways to learn something is to see someone else demonstrate it.

That is why today, I’ll be going over my Top 5 favorite speakers (and some of their most famous speeches). These are all prominent figures in the world of public speaking, and by observing their most successful speeches you can improve your own.

  1. Brené Brown – Brown works as a research professor at the University of Houston, and she is an expert on topics like empathy and vulnerability.
  2. Simon Sinek – Sinek is a motivational speaker who has written several books on leadership and management. Though these talks are geared to adults in corporate settings, people of any age or background can learn about empathy and human connection by listening to his talks.
  3. Tony Robbins – Raised in poverty, Robbins went on to become one of the most famous motivational speakers and life coaches in the world. He is also an author and a philanthropist, and he mainly speaks about self-improvement.
  4.  Hans Rosling – Rosling was a Swedish statistician and physician who often gave talks on population growth and global health. Admirably, his public speeches managed to deliver important numerical information in a way the public could easily understand and connect with.
  5. Malala Yousafzai – Yousafzai is a Pakistani female education activist. When she was 15 years old, she was shot in the head while riding the school bus. She went on to become a renowned advocate for education and women’s rights, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

But wait!

Don’t just sit around and click through these links! Looking at certain aspects of a speech can help you narrow down some of your favorite techniques, and watching speeches one, two or three times over can help cement these observations even further. Here are some things to look out for while watching these speakers in action:

  • Story Telling – Every one of these speakers builds a story. How does the speaker structure their content to tell a compelling story? Do they use 
  • Vocal Variety – How does the speaker convey emotions? How do they keep the audience engaged? How are they emphasizing certain points?
  • Pace – How fast is the speaker going? How do you think that impacts the information the audience is able to absorb? Is there an ideal pace?
  • Clarity – Unlike with good writing, speeches often have to be clear and to the point. How quickly does the speaker go through their points? How can you cut down on flowery language?
  • Body Language / Gestures / Eye Contact – If you muted the video and just watched the speaker’s body language, what can you infer about what they are saying? How can subtle body language affect the audience’s interpretation of a speech?

I hope these inspiring role models help guide you on your speaking journey. Join us next time for another “Top 5”!