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  • Writer's pictureJane Wilson

Magician, Authority, Professor or Friend?

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Around ten years ago, a colleague asked if I could help her brush up her presentation skills ahead of an event. With years of public speaking under my belt I thought it would be easy to pass on some of what I’d picked up. But it turns out that all I could do, was explain how to present like me, when what my friend needed was to present as the best version of her.

So, I spent time thinking about my friend; how she tells a story and how she presents when she’s passionate about a topic. I was then able to create some tips that were right for her and her style. This became the basis of my presentation training approach and over time I developed a model of four speaker types that most people can identify with as their natural style. They are Magician, Authority, Professor and Friend. I now use this model in my presentation training to help clients be the best version of themselves.

The Magician is the star turn you want at your conference. They seem to be able to pull a presentation from thin air and their charisma and passion are what you remember long after they leave the stage.

The Authority is another big gun speaker. This person has deep knowledge and experience and an unequivocal point of view. Their delivery style is confident and steadfast, and they add weight to any event.

The Professor is an expert in their field and often from a technical background. They have specialist knowledge that few others have. They appear more scholarly and thoughtful than the authority and build trust through insight.

The Friend brings warmth to their presentation style. Audiences lean in feeling that they know this speaker and would like to spend more time with them.

Each of us typically majors in one type with another playing a supporting role. This model has proven a fun and effective way to help clients uncover their own style and they sometimes surprise themselves when they find their true style.

What presenter type do you think you are … and which would you like to be? Take the Which presenter type are you? quiz to uncover your dominant style and start the journey to becoming the best version of you.

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