If you’ve been reading my Style Snapshot blog posts regularly you may have noticed that for each presenter type, there seems to be a counter-type. Presenter styles are either fast or slow, animated or not. It’s true that there is a polarity to some of these 6 types as they are meant to be extremes. People are all different and what one person might think is great another could think is horrible. Chances are that you may identify with a few different presentation styles rather than just one. This week’s style, the Dust Bunny, is the 5th style I’m blogging about. Click here to read about the rest of them!
Presentation Style: Dust Bunny
Description: The Dust Bunny, as the name suggests, is someone who everyone can see, but no one really wants to talk about. What’s ironic about this personality is that they are very shy and are desperately trying to fade into the background, but because they are standing in front of a group of people, they end up being more like the elephant in the room. Picture this: you’re at home and unexpected company stops by for a visit (in this day of constant technological connection I feel like this rarely happens anymore, but stay with me on this). You’re sitting in your living room, chatting away, when you see it: a huge dust bunny in the corner! Suddenly it’s all you can think about and you hope beyond hope that your guest doesn’t see it. But like a train wreck, you can’t stop looking at it, glancing sideways in case it somehow magically disappeared. Now you’re so focused on it that your guest follows your stare and then they see it too. No one says anything, but you both know it’s there. Such is the Dust Bunny presenter, someone who the audience has to look at because they’re centre stage, but their nervous energy radiates to the audience, making the audience want to sweep them under a rug.
Cons: The Dust Bunny is meek and shy, and it becomes very clear very quickly that they are incredibly uncomfortable. Because audiences tend to be sympathetic, this in turn makes the audience uncomfortable. The insecurity that radiates from the Dust Bunny not only demeans their credibility as being knowledgeable in the field (and why else would they have been asked to present unless they are knowledgeable?), but it makes the audience focus on their demeanor rather than on the information that the presenter is trying to get across. Dust Bunnies also tend to be very, very quiet, which makes it difficult to hear them at all, even when they are using a microphone.
Pros: The Dust Bunny definitely pulls at the audience’s heartstrings and effortlessly gains sympathy. Because they are so physically nervous, the audience has no choice but to feel their pain and to want to wrap the presenter in a big warm hug. Particularly when giving a speech about a personal hardship, or when talking about unpleasant events such as illness or loss of a loved one, this presentation style really conveys the emotional struggles that you or the people in your anecdote experienced.
Are you a shy, meek presenter? Join the conversation: find me on Facebook, Tweet at me or send me an email. Follow my social media to read about the rest of the categories, and get a hold of me if you’d like to sit down for a consultation!
And remember: a presentation is simply a large conversation.