The 5 types of presenters you’ll meet in life

3 min readNov 12, 2021

Some ooze charisma, others inspire action — but all of them have gone down as some of the best speakers in history. It’s nearly impossible to compare one speech to another, but in our years of experience coaching presenters, we’ve found that you can generally bucket the world’s most compelling speakers into one of 5 key archetypes and their corresponding superpowers:

1. Presence: the ability to captivate a crowd

2. Originality: the ability to see the world from a new perspective

3. Inclusion: the ability to reach a diverse audience

4. Narrative: the ability to tell a great story

5. Transformation: the ability to inspire change

Where do your favorite speakers stack up? Which archetype do you most identify with? And which Disney Princess is MLK??? Without further ado, the 5 types of presenters you’ll meet (or have been) in your lifetime:

via Vanity Fair


Public speaking superpower: Presence

  • The captivator knows how to command attention and win over any room — their energy is contagious!
  • They’re usually confident in your delivery, regardless of the content or the audience
  • Others look to them to help inspire people and get buy-in for an idea
via IMDB


Public speaking superpower: Originality

  • The creator has a strong perspective and vision for what they want to see in the world
  • Thinking up new creative solutions and ideas without guidance or constraints excites them
  • Others turn to them to help them brainstorm and think through different approaches to a problem
via Global Citizen


Public speaking superpower: Inclusion

  • The ally is a master at bringing everyone into the conversation and making space for multiple voices
  • They’re hyper-attuned to the needs of others and take time to make everyone in the room feel seen and heard while presenting
  • Others look to them to understand the needs of different teams, audiences, and individuals
via Entertainment Weekly


Public speaking superpower: Narrative

  • The storyteller is a stellar synthesizer: they can boil down even the most complex subjects into a digestible story arc
  • They find comfort in the structure of a narrative to communicate their thoughts
  • They often find themselves in a “translator” role at work or at home, simplifying messages from multiple groups or perspectives
via Teen Vogue


Public speaking superpower: Transformation

  • Some bring ideas, others bring the energy, but the activator is able to inspire action
  • When they give a talk, they try to leave their audience with something to think, feel, or do
  • When a colleague has a broad vision, they turn to the activator to communicate it in concrete, actionable terms


We love a personality quiz as much as the next person, but this framework isn’t about finding out whether you’re more of a Dwight or a Jim — it’s about realizing that even the best speakers don’t score 10s in every category; that sometimes it’s just as helpful to your sharpen your strengths as it is to round out your weaknesses.

What’s more, it’s about realizing that the way we show up to a presentation is ever-changing and — unlike your PowerPoint slides after the 7th “hard submission deadline” — who we are as speakers is never set in stone.

Curious about your archetype? Take our personalized speaker assessment to discover your public speaking superpower and get a custom path for growth when you join our public speaking training platform, Speechless+.




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