“Should I Do What He’s Doing?”

Some popular advice for budding public speakers is, “Watch how so-and-so does their TED Talk, and copy them!” 

This…isn’t great advice. We never want to just try on someone else’s speaking style—it’s like putting on their suit. It might look kind of okay, but it doesn’t fit right, and you might trip over the cuffs.

If you’re going to really study how other people speak, go all the way. What do they do? How do they do it? Is their style like yours, or not so much?  What do you think their intention is? How do they make you feel? Do their body and voice align with their message? How do they use their slide deck? What’s the function of their introduction? When and how do they use stories? What, if anything, do they do that doesn’t work for you, or that isn’t effective?

At the end of all of this, you’ll have a lot of information. Choose what aligns with your own sense of your style, and ditch the rest. 

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