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Best Public Speakers: Studying Jeff Bezos

Updated: Apr 4

Want to be able to command the room with great vocal dynamics, physical poise, and strategic gestures? Study one of our best public speakers, Jeff Bezos. Jeff is the founder, CEO, and president of Amazon.

by Stephanie Bickel

best public speakers

The best public speakers event we reviewed: Amazon’s shareholder meeting in May 2019

Jeff’s greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Great vocal strength and poise: Jeff speaks slowly, with a low pitch, and he has a strong voice that projects throughout the auditorium. He is confident and he commands the room. (throughout)

  2. Excellent use of grand gestures and resetting to neutral: He uses grand gestures (open palm and karate chop) to support the messages he delivers. Jeff is well known for his powerful karate chop. (:05-:22, :55-1:42)

  3. Physical poise: Jeff keeps the frame of his body still and instead puts movement into his gestures. (:05-:22) He also strategically moves across the stage to create a more conversational style. When he transitions, he moves slowly and deliberately and maintains eye contact. Jeff always stops, plants his feet, and positions the frame of his body back to the audience. (:30-1:42)

  4. Uses an emphatic tone to highlight key points: He pauses and adds weight to important phrases and words. (:49-1:42)

What Jeff could do to improve his public speaking skills:

  1. Maintain an upright posture: Although slight, Jeff leans to the side and occasionally has a break in his neck or puts his hand in his pocket. He could have an even bigger presence if he stood fully upright with his hands at his side. (:00-:19, :30-1:42, 1:43-2:37)

  2. Minimize use of fillers: He starts sentences and fills transition periods with non-words - “well”, “uh”, “um”. Just as he plants his feet to physically reset himself, he could do the same with his voice and pause to minimize using filler words. (:31, :42, :59, 1:13, 2:03-2:37)


Great leaders and speakers start with Speak by Design. Learn the techniques and build the skills with us. Speak by Design University is the only leadership communication program in the world that gives you access to self-paced learning, group coaching and training and, most importantly, private one-on-one coaching. Learn more and register.

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14 mag

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