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Best Public Speakers: Studying Dr. David Weinberger's Communication Skills

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

We’ve included Dr. David Weinberger on our “Best Public Speakers” list because of his easy to understand language and vocal variation. David Weinberger, PhD, is a senior researcher at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society as well as a best-selling author; he has explored how the Internet is not only transforming our major institutions but changing how we understand ourselves and our world.

By David Prete

We reviewed Weinberger's video about the networking of knowledge and storytelling. In it, he asks what the implications are of a future in which human knowledge is a limitless, intricately connected network of people, ideas, and works.

Weinberger’s greatest communication skills:

  1. Simplicity: Weinberger uses easy to understand language to convey very complex ideas. This prevents him from talking over the heads of his audience or losing them in the complexity of his ideas.

  2. Vocal Variation: Weinberger knows how to use a variety of vocal pitches to signal to his audience that he is transitioning to the next point.

  3. Emphasis: Weinberger has an instinct for operative language. He’s adept at emphasizing key words by varying his rhythm and volume, which makes his images and ideas more digestible to his audience.

What Weinberger could do to improve his communication skills:

  1. Pause: At times, Weinberger includes moments of pause. However, there are other times, he moves rather quickly from subject to subject. As a result, the listener may not have enough space to consider his point of view . Slowing down would help the audience to take in the plethora of information.

  2. Gestures: The way the camera is positioned, we don’t see much beyond his face. This takes away his opportunity to use gestures and postures to help physically emphasize his points.


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