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Best Public Speakers: Studying Ray Dalio's Communication in Business

Updated: May 11


We chose Ray Dalio for our "Best Public Speakers" list because of his gravitas, vocal variety, and strong word choice that showcases his wisdom and depth of experience. Ray is an investor and hedge fund manager, who has served as co-chief investment officer of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, since 1985.




We reviewed Ray Dalio’s best public speakers interview on CNBC about reforming Capitalism.



Ray’s greatest strengths for communication in business:

1. Motivational speaking tone and consultative tone: Ray alternates between motivational tone and consultative tone effectively. He emphasized his ideas with more volume and a higher pitch, and also by repeating certain words (4:40). He then brings his tone to a consultative tone with a softer, warmer, and slower delivery when breaking tension. (2:11, 4:29, 5:25, 5:39).

2. Emphatic tone with supportive physical gestures. Ray emphasizes many words by adding weight and accompanying supportive gestures throughout. His gestures vary between micro, such as numbering with his fingers (:38), to grand, such as arms out (1:30).

3. Guides audience toward his world view: Ray brings us in with phrases like “these are just facts” (1:01) and “this isn’t controversial” (1:18).


What Ray could do to improve his communication in business:

1. Reduce Vocal Fry: Ray’s voice crackles and breaks often. He could benefit from breathing more and speaking on the exhale, as well as raising his vocal pitch to rid himself of the vocal fry.

2. Reduce Observable Physical Tension: As the interview progresses, Ray becomes visibly tense. He shakes his finger at the interviewer (6:53) and he stumbles over his words (5:35). He would benefit from taking a breath when in disagreement and slowing down his delivery.

3. Use humor. Ray is in opposition with his interviewers for much of the time. He continually uses a driving and logical persuasive style. We recommend he vary his strategy with more humor to charm his opponents.


 

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