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Best Public Speakers Series: Studying Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch will become the new CEO of CVS in February 2021. This new role makes CVS the biggest Fortune 500 company to be run by a woman. We identified Karen as one of the best public speakers due to her warm presence that is conveyed through her facial expressions and vocal tone.


best public speakers

The public speaking event we reviewed: Fortune's Most Powerful Women Video

Karen's greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Nice facial expressions: Karen smiles from the very beginning to convey a warm presence. She also uses direct, engaging eye contact to connect with her audience. (:00, :20, 1:11)

  2. Consultative vocal tone: She speaks slowly and with a softer voice to comfort her listeners and puts them at ease. (1:00, 1:25, 1:44)

  3. Physical poise: Karen maintains a still frame throughout which signals confidence. (:00, 1:00, 1:44)

What Karen could do to improve her public speaking skills:


  1. Minimize filler words (uh, um, really): Although Karen has a nice speaking rate, she could pause to reduce the amount of filler words. (:02, :05, :15, :32, :52, 1:45)

  2. Increase energy through voice and gestures: She could benefit from incorporating more grand gestures and using more motivational and assertive vocal tones. Her entire video doesn’t necessarily warrant a more soothing voice. When she talks about her competitive nature, business successes, and passions, she could speak louder with more expansive gestures. (:00, :20, :50, 1:53)

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Interested in learning more about what it takes to become one of the best public speakers at your organization? Great speakers are made, not born. This is how you maximize your personal effectiveness and develop effective public speaking skills. All by how you TALK. Read more about our approach and some of the virtual group trainings that can get you there.


Contact Speak by Design to discuss a program that is tailored to your individual needs and communication demands.

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