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Best Public Speakers: Luvvie Ajayi

Updated: Apr 4

Luvvie Ajayi is a Nigerian American author, speaker, and digital strategist. Her book, I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, was a New York Times best-seller. We identified Luvvie as one of our best public speakers because of her ability to stay true to her values and deliver a dynamic presentation with emotion, passion, and energy.

by Stephanie Bickel

best public speakers

The best public speakers event we reviewed: TED talk, Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Luvvie’s greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Varies vocal tone to match the message she delivers: Luvvie takes the audience through an emotional experience as she uses both a motivational and consultative style. Her passion and energy comes through in her voice and in her physical presence. When she uses a motivational tone, her volume increases, she uses an emphatic tone, and she uses more grand gestures - fist, pincer, open palm, karate chop, pointing. (2:45-3:38, 5:30-5:50, 6:15-7:13) When she changes into a consultative tone, her voice slows down, she gets quieter, and she pauses more. (:42-1:22, 4:55-5:30, 7:14-9:00, 9:42-10:20)

  2. Interjects humor: She adds another dimension to her presentation when she includes a bit of humor. Because her topic goes so deep, breaking it up with humor releases any bit of tension the audience might have. (:30, 2:00-2:30, 2:55, 3:50, 4:38-4:55)

  3. Excellent storyteller: Luvvie uses personal examples of how she overcame failure and fought through her biggest fears. (3:40-5:00, 7:14-9:00)

  4. Strong voice: She speaks in a low-pitch and projects her voice to command the room. (throughout)

What Luvvie could do to improve her public speaking skills:

  1. Minimize unintentional movement: While Luvvie does a nice job planting her feet and facing the audience at times, she tends to sway and move without purpose. Walking and talking can convey a conversational style, but it needs to be done deliberately with intention. (:14-:30, 1:10-1:40, 5:15-5:50, 9-9:20, 10:05-10:25)


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