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Best Public Speakers: Studying Simon Sinek

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Simon Sinek is a British-born American author and motivational speaker. We identified Simon as one of the best public speakers because of his dynamic presentation skills. He connects to his audiences with strong nonverbal and vocal qualities.

by Stephanie Bickel

best public speakers

The public speaking event we reviewed: Courage to Lead | THE 5 PRACTICES

Simon's greatest public speaking skills:

  1. Engaging eye contact: From the beginning, Simon strongly connects with the audience by looking directly at his listeners. (:00, throughout)

  2. Appropriate changes in vocal tone: Simon begins with a slower, softer tone and uses it again when talking through difficult topics. (:15, 3:15, 4:20, 11:45) He uses this consultative style to empathize with his audience. Then, he switches into a more motivational style when he is passionate. In this style, he gets louder, faster, and more emphatic. (1:55, 6:22, 9:48, 10:35)

  3. Uses a variety of grand and micro gestures: Simon varies his gestures to support different messages. Grand gestures are used to convey passion and energy while micro gestures are used to show attention to detail. (:35, 1:05, 2:44, 4:56, 6:22, 11:31)

  4. Emphatic tone: He starts to slow down and add weight and emphasis to words and phrases he wants the audience to remember. (:57, 1:53, 4:00, 4:56, 11:27)

  5. Good use of analogies: Simon reinforces his points by telling analogies. He said putting a nicotine patch next to cigarettes is like putting a donut next to a diet book. The audience can easily comprehend the struggle. (5:33)

  6. Strong ending: Simon finishes with an interview response from Richard Branson to demonstrate what an infinite mindset sounds like. Branson says, “Do not judge me by anything that I have ever done at Virgin. If you want to judge the quality of my life, you judge the quality of my children.” This is such a powerful thought to leave with his listeners.

What Simon could do to improve his public speaking skills:

  1. Stay open to the audience: Simon has a tendency to fold his hands together in front of his body and fidget with his fingers. We recommend resetting to a neutral position with hands down at the side of the body in between gestures. (:08, :51, 1:40, 3:12, 10:25, 11:42)


Great leaders and speakers start with Speak by Design. Learn the techniques and build the skills with us. Speak by Design University is the only leadership communication program in the world that gives you access to self-paced learning, group coaching and training and, most importantly, private one-on-one coaching. Learn more and register.

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