“Brown never looks flustered or panicked.
She is confident in what she is presenting,
and makes it look effortless.”
Some public speakers are so polarizing that you can listen to their speeches over and over again finding new gems of inspiration with each listen. New York Times Bestseller and TED standout, Brene Brown, is one such polarizing figure, as her 2010 TED Talk The Power of Vulnerability has racked up almost 20 million views.
This staggering figure makes Brene one of the most successful TED speakers of all time. Her 2012 follow up Listening to Shame has close to five million views and both continue to grow regardless of their almost half decade old release dates.
Brown is more than just a scholar and author, she is a phenomenal public speaker whose informative conversational tone draws in audience members and connects with them on an emotional level. She has really mastered the art of public speaking, and we have broken down some of the key factors to Brown’s success. If you are looking for ways to improve your public speaking or are just interested in the skills one must possess to be engaging when speaking to a large audience, then look at these attributes of Brown’s and work them into your own presentations.
She’s a Body Language Master
Once thing you will notice is that Brene doesn’t use a podium (not many TED speakers do), the reason why is that it allows her to use body language to connect with her audience. When speakers use podiums, it often gives them an air of authority and prestige, which can be an asset when someone like the President is speaking. However, when you are speaking about emotional issues like vulnerability and shame, you want to remain open to your audience, allowing them to feel comfortable with the information that you are presenting. When you watch Brown speak you will notice that her shoulders are square with the audience and her hands are generally spread wide, almost as if she is hugging everyone in attendance. If she was standing sideways or rigid, it would be much more difficult to connect with her on an emotional level.
Her Tone is Soft And Comforting
Subject matter and a good understanding of who your audience will dictate the tone of your presentation or speech. Brown knows that her emotionally charged subject matter is best served with a soft and tolerant vocal tone. If she was coming off as preachy or too authoritative it could possibly hinder her ability to connect with her audience, it could undermine her subject matter. Brown knows that when dealing with emotional issues she needs to exude an air of patience and support.
She is An Expert in Her Field
One of Brown’s greatest strengths is her in-depth knowledge of the subject matter she is presenting. It is her life’s work and she is a respected expert in her field. Because of this, Brown never looks flustered or panicked, she is confident in what she is presenting, and makes it look effortless. She does not appear to be selling her audience anything. Rather, she is presenting them with information that she knows is relevant to them and their wellbeing. This results in an engaged audience that is willing to invest in her subject matter.
She is a Master Story Teller
Brene Brown is a researcher, and as with most research, it can difficult to digest. Brown doesn’t present the laundry list of numbers or a painfully detailed analysis. Instead she eloquently weaves factual research results in with stories that everyday humans can relate with. She connects with her audience on an emotional level using narratives from her own life. She relates her own struggles and triumphs to what she has found in her research. This builds an instant and intimate connection and allows the audience to relate to the information being presented. Brown is a master public speaker and by utilizing the skills mentioned above, has built a notable following.