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.