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Best Public Speakers: Studying Billy Crystal

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Billy Crystal is an actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director, and television host. We identified Billy as one of the best public speakers because of his dynamic personality and ability to seamlessly transition into various vocal styles as the topic changes.

by Stephanie Bickel

best public speakers

The best public speakers event we reviewed: Billy Crystal’s tribute to Robin Williams.

Billy’s greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Humor: It is no surprise that humor is one of Billy Crystal’s strengths. Even with this being a tribute, he tastefully added a bit of comedy to lighten the mood. (1:20, 1:45, 2:20)

  2. “BIG” physical presence: Billy uses intentional gestures to underline and enhance his message. His eye contact is impeccable as he looks around the room to include everyone in the audience. He maintains a confident posture with staying square to his listeners and keeping his shoulders back. (:57, 1:50, 2:28, 2:50)

  3. Uses a variety of vocal styles: The nature of his tribute includes both serious topics and times when he reflects on humorous conversations. He starts by using a consultative voice when he thinks what Robin did for others. Then, he eloquently transitions into a motivational style when sharing funny anecdotes. Both his vocal tone and nonverbal cues mirror the changes in topics. (:40, 1:50, 2:07, 2:40)

  4. Excellent storytelling: It is the stories that we remember and Billy engages the audience by sharing several conversations he remembered having with the great actor and comedian. They were short, but meaningful enough to depict how we should all remember Robin Williams and his personality. (1:12, 2:07)

What Billy could do to improve his public speaking skills:

  1. In this speaking sample, we couldn’t find much of anything that he could improve. If you find something, send us a message and we’ll consider updating our post. People ask us all the time about how to put together a tribute. This is a great example with no suggestions for improvement from our perspective.


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