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Best Public Speakers: Studying Steven Cahillane

We chose Steve Cahillane for our "Best Public Speakers Series" because of his strong leadership communication skills, relaxed presence and polished style when public speaking. He is an American businessperson who is the CEO of Kellogg Co., President & CEO of Alphabet Holding Co., Inc., and President for Nature's Bounty, Inc. Steven is also currently on the board of six other companies.



The best public speakers event we reviewed: An interview with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" team to discuss fourth-quarter earnings results and outlook for the company.


Steven’s greatest leadership communication skills:

  1. Hand Gestures: Steven uses good expansive hand gestures that support his message when speaking.

  2. Posture: We see him standing strong and upright displaying confident posture.

  3. Professional Style: Steven has a relaxed, but formal style. This interview shows he has a good balance of being both relaxed and energized.

  4. Vocal Presence: Steven uses a "broadcaster" style of speaking clearly stating data and facts. He also uses vocal highlighting to control the focus of his audience. He rarely uses filler words, and creates definitive endings to his thoughts.

  5. Personable: He transitions gracefully from one interviewer to the next using each of their names as he answers their questions.

What Steven could do to improve his leadership communication skills:

  1. Steven is overly positive next to a declining chart. More acknowledge of setbacks would create more credibility with his audience. We would like to see him use a more "consultative" speaking style to show more empathy.

  2. We would ask him to avoid the heavy sigh at 0:13 before launching into his answer. When we see his shoulders visibly rise up and down it makes him look less comfortable. A heavy sigh can give your audience a negative feeling of gloom.

  3. We wish he had called “consumers” something else like “families” or “loyal fans” as a more compassionate term.

Would you like to give yourself the gift of a communication program to become one of the best public speakers at your organization? Speak by Design tailors our approach exactly to your unique communication needs to help maximize your personal effectiveness through your communication. Contact Speak by Design to discuss a program that could transform your public speaking skills and your career.


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