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Best Public Speakers: Studying Andy Jassy

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

We chose Andy Jassy for our "Best Public Speakers" list because of his ability to deliver a keynote presentation seamlessly and comfortably to a hybrid audience of in-person and virtual attendees. He is an American business person who has led Amazon Web Services since its inception in 2003. Andy has worked closely with Jeff Bezos along the way in building Amazon to its current level of success. On July 5, 2021, he took over as the new President and CEO of Amazon.

by Stephanie Bickel

The best public speakers event we reviewed was his keynote during Amazon Web Services re:Invent event in December 2020. Andy shares the latest news and announcements for AWS. Andy Jassy took over as CEO this month for Amazon. Listen to his keynote address at the beginning of this video.

Andy's greatest leadership communication skills:

  1. Acknowledgement of Social Climate: At 3:22, Andy addresses current social climate and makes a clear commitment to helping black people. He places this statement at the top of his presentation showing this is a clear priority for him and for Amazon.

  2. Hand Gestures: Andy uses natural hand gestures and movements on stage making him look conversational and connected to his audience.

  3. Polished Presentation Style: He uses no "filler" words! Even between ideas and during transitions.

  4. Compelling Topic: Great theme around "reinvention".

  5. Shows Integrity: He digs at the competition without naming them at 14:30.

  6. Interpersonal Awareness: Andy's emotional connection greatly improves around 8:54. He "punches" sentences with words like "maniacal" and "relentless". His energy shifts as he says the following statements:

  • "You have to challenge people to get to the truth."

  • "You have to have the courage to force the company to change."

  • "Sometimes you cannot fight gravity."

  • "Netflix cannibalizing their own business worked out for them."

What Andy could do to improve his leadership communication skills:

  1. Andy's posture could be better by relaxing his arms more often by his side. He does this in the beginning, but then gets stuck later with a bent elbow. He sometimes uses his pockets to anchor his arms, but hands in view are always better for audience connection.

  2. We would like to see Andy use more consonant power. He would benefit from some projection exercises.

  3. We would encourage Andy to bring more contrast to his vocal presence. More variation and range of pitch and volume could make for a more dynamic delivery.

  4. The one area missing is humor. Other than the golf example (that would mean nothing to non-golfers), he does not use humor to build a relationship with the audience. We are left wondering how passionate he is about his career, and if he enjoys his role. Do people enjoy working with him?


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