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Best Public Speakers: Studying Joey Wat

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Joey Wat is a chief executive officer of Yum China Holdings. She also served as CEO of KFC China and spent seven years in management consulting. As of May 2020, she is one of only 37 female CEOs on the Fortune 500. We identified Joey as one of the best public speakers because of her organized delivery, empathic tone, and physical poise.

by Stephanie Bickel

best public speakers

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Joey’s greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Organized and structured delivery: Joey begins the discussion talking about how the word crisis is translated in Chinese. She structures her message by beginning with, “there are 2 ways...”. This communication technique demonstrates how organized she is in her thinking. (:00)

  2. Physical poise and "BIG" posture: She sits with an upright posture with her shoulders back. She also rests her hands on her knees unfolded and relaxed. This type of physical poise conveys confidence and power. (:17, :38, 1:07)

  3. Excellent use of gestures: Joey uses intentional gestures to support the messages she delivers. While she is a petite woman, her grand gestures make her presence “BIG” and adds energy to the conversation. (:00, :23, 2:08)

  4. Strong vocal presence: She projects her voice and speaks a rate that is digestible for audiences. Joey is emphatic in both her speech and gestures which draws attention to the most important points. (:00, :23, :34)

What Joey could do to improve her public speaking skills:

  1. Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation: Joey occasionally breaks eye contact and will look off to the side or down. When looking down, it could be perceived as someone avoiding a situation or question. Looking away frequently tends to make others think you lack confidence. She even added the filler word, “like”, and her voice wasn’t as strong which added to the perception of uncertainty. (1:12, 1:38, 2:05)


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