Here’s the next letter in our Alphabet Soup of Public Speaking Blunders.  

The letter C: Clumsy Cadence.

Clumsy Cadence is in our public speaking blunder list because it can cause a disconnect between the speaker and their audience. When the speaker’s delivery is hard to follow, audiences check out.

But is it a mistake?

We have an answer, but first, we have another question:

When you think of the actor Christopher Walken, what comes to mind?

OK, sure: “More cowbell.”

What else? We were hoping you would comment on his unique – and some say peculiar – speaking style. He often pauses unexpectedly, elongates certain words or syllables, and has a deliberate and measured pace.

Yes, it can be considered clumsy, but is it a mistake?

Not if it meets two criteria: Authenticity and Relatability.

A clumsy cadence can be a manifestation of authenticity. It humanizes the speaker, making them relatable and approachable.

Now for the harsh reality: In business presentations, clumsy cadence is rarely seen as an interesting quirk – especially by your boss. We all might embrace the charm of a clumsy cadence during a wedding toast, but when you’re at work, it’s best to speak in a style that’s easy to follow.

Here’s some good news: You do not have to sound like a BBCWorld News anchor either. A perfectly polished delivery can come across as robotic or rehearsed, and no one is asking for that UNLESS you are introducing a dignitary (or your great aunt who’s about to win the Nobel prize).

How do you know if you have a clumsy cadence?

One more time for the cheap seats in the back: Rehearse your presentation with a colleague and GET FEEDBACK.

Don’t have an opportunity to get honest and trustworthy feedback, you say?

Then join us on 10/13 for Clout and let us help you.