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Best Public Speakers: Studying Roland Cloutier's Public Speaking Skills

Updated: May 11


We included Roland Cloutier on our “Best Public Speakers” list because of the assertiveness conveyed in his voice and the organized way he responds to questions. Roland is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at TikTok.


best public speakers

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Roland's greatest public speaking skills:


  1. Strong voice: Roland projects his voice and speaks in a lower pitch. He also uses an emphatic tone to emphasize key points. These qualities are associated with the most credible speakers. (3:05 - 4:39)

  2. Direct eye contact: Eye contact can be challenging when communicating virtually. Roland does a nice job staying engaged with his audience and looking directly at them when speaking. (3:05 - 4:39)

  3. Strategically incorporates humor: When asked about the most challenging moment, he begins with “so many challenges, so little time”. This adds a nice contrast to the more serious topic of cybersecurity. (5:03 - 5:10)

  4. Organized responses to questions: He buckets his responses to his biggest challenges and what keeps him up at night with these phrases: “The second major area that I focus on…” and “It’s 2 things,...”. You can see his confidence shine through when he responds in this manner with a strong voice. (5:30 - 6:44, 11:40 - 13:05)


What Roland could do to improve his public speaking skills:


  1. Minimize hedging language and filler words: The interviewer begins by asking for an introduction to Roland and TikTok. Although he becomes more assertive later in the interview, Roland begins by saying “there is not a lot to tell, I guess". He also uses other filler words, “uh”, “um”, and “you know”. We recommend beginning strong with a polished introduction and then slowing down and pausing to eliminate other non-words. (1:12 - 2:35)

  2. Relax facial expressions: Roland has a tendency to get a furrow in his brow and his forehead becomes tense throughout his responses. Listeners could perceive this as someone who is concerned, uncertain, or uncomfortable with the line of questioning. To soften his facial expressions, Roland could try to “think” a smile. You will notice a more relaxed look at 7:35 when he adds in humor. (7:00 - 8:30)


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