Forget Multi-Tasking, Try Mono-Tasking

November 18, 2016.
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Paolo Cardini:
Forget Multi-Tasking, Try Mono-Tasking
Finding Your Own Style as a Speaker

As a speaker, did you ever try to copy the style of someone else? How did you feel – did it work? If it didn’t, this is a common mistake you can make when trying to improve as a speaker.  You definitely can and should learn from good speakers. Do not, however, try to imitate the delivery style of other speakers if this is not natural for your own personal character and way of speaking.

One reason this mistake happens is that people often have a certain perception of how a good speaker should speak and behave. A common image is that of a highly charismatic, dynamic and extrovert person speaking with a strong voice and distinct gestures. If this is your image of a great speaker, and you feel you do not have such qualities, do not despair!

Certainly, there are great speakers that fit the image just described above. If you look around, however, you will also find many good speakers with styles which are quite different.  To become a better speaker, it is essential that you to find a style that suits your own character and that you feel comfortable with. Otherwise, you will not be genuine – the audience will quickly see through it and you will lose their confidence.

This time you will find an example of a soft-spoken, yet effective and engaging, speaking style in a short and humorous TED talk by Italian designer Paolo Cardini.

TEDGlobal June 2012       2.2 million views on

If you watch his speech, you may agree that he could use more gestures and movement to be more dynamic as a speaker. However, he nevertheless gets the attention of the audience and they respond well to his humour and message – because he is genuine and his style fits his character.

Also note how he ends with a simple and effective foundational phrase for his key message.

Trond Varlid

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This article first appeared in the EMC Quest newsletter series.

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