Be Unique, Be Yourself

One of the best pieces of advice I got as a young lawyer was to develop my own style in court.  “Watch other lawyers and learn from them,” I was told, “but never, ever try to copy them.  It won’t work.”  The same holds true for most forms of public speaking.  Except impersonations, of course.

Each of us has his or her own unique way of speaking.  Some are flamboyant; some are professorial; some incorporate lots of humour; some are soft spoken.  The list could go on forever.  The important thing is to go with the style that works best for you.

This is not to say that we should shy away from those aspects of public speaking where we are, perhaps, not so strong.  Indeed, we should endeavour to work on areas that need improvement.  Doing so will make us better speakers.

However, we should not try to be someone whom we are not.  We need to cultivate a speaking style that is natural and comfortable for us.  A style that fits like a well tailored suit.  A style that is as original as a great work of art.  A style that is as unique as we are and one that we can truly call our own.

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About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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