6 Types of Presenters: Which One Are You? [Quiz]

Kayla Darling

Written by:
Kayla Darling

types of presenters

Each individual’s personality shapes how he or she handles different tasks. Whether it be tackling a tough problem or simply talking with a friend, we handle things differently. This applies just as easily to giving presentations.

Most of the time when we give a presentation, we think in terms of “one size fits all.” Throwing a blanket over the methods that can be used to give a presentation makes it easier to instruct someone else how to do so. However, as everyone has their own unique way of handling things, such a broad blanket might make things harder for some individuals just as it makes it easier for others.

Let’s look at someone who is highly emotional versus someone who is very logical. The first person would likely express a lot of passion when presenting their subject, while the second would likely focus more on facts. Similar differences would appear between introverted and extroverted individuals.

This concept of “different types presenters” seems to be taking hold in people’s minds, similar to the way we hear of “different types of learners” and “different types of leaders.” The goal of examining types of presenters is to help individuals find a style that they’re comfortable with.

There are several different schemes for categorizing presenters. Listed below are several that can help you maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses as a public speaker.

RELATED: The 4 Communication Styles: Which One Do You Have? [Quiz]


The Six Presenter Types

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According to Gavin McMahon from Make a Powerful Pointthere is no one single type of presenter that would fit everyone. After a decade of working with presenters from all types of industries, he created the following categorization scheme for different presenter types:

  • The Coach: Energetic, good at engaging people, and generally needs an invested audience
  • The Inventor: Doesn’t like presenting in front of people, but is good at connecting facts, and generally would prefer to have flashcards or something similar
  • The Counselor: Organized, easy to follow, and may be somewhat detached from a project
  • The Storyteller: Embellishes their presentation and is an emotional speaker
  • The Teacher: Easily explains difficult concepts and keeps focused for a long time, but is usually more concerned about material
  • The Coordinator: Dislikes being in front of an audience more than the Inventor, but is very organized

While no one will perfectly fit any one of these categories, the path to becoming the best presenter you can possibly be in accordance with your temperament starts with determining which of these six types best fits your personal style. To find out, take this fun and short quiz.


Personality Types of Presenters

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The writers at Presentation Process took a different approach by focusing instead on four different possibilities:

  • The Persuader: Focuses on facts, passionate, confident and charismatic
  • The Motivator: Focuses on emotions, passionate and good at motivating others to action
  • The Lecturer: Focuses on facts, more restrained and very detail-focused
  • The Philosopher: Focuses on emotions, more restrained and appeals to feelings by empathizing with their audience

The site also offers a quiz at the beginning to help readers self-reflect, allowing them to figure out what presenter type best fits them based on their answers. This particular site is useful in that it lists specific improvements for these presenter types directly on the page, and is probably best for someone searching for a well-organized, straight-forward examination of the subject.


5 Types of Presenters

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Another version of the previous classification can be seen as a slide deck on SlideShare, and splits the middle with five different presenter types:

  • The Drone: Data oriented with low audience involvement, and is likely more worried about the content itself than getting it across to listeners
  • The Teacher: Data oriented with high audience involvement; generally believes the audience knows less than them
  • The Movie Star: People oriented with low audience involvement; may be more likely to tackle controversial topics
  • The Relationship Builder: People oriented with high audience involvement; tries to make a presentation as interesting as possible
  • The “Excellent” Presenter: an individual who avoids extremes and is generally a good mix of all of the above

The slide deck also looks at what the different types of presenters believe and how they might affect a given audience. 


What Type of Public Speaker Are You Really?

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This site, The Mindful Presenter, goes a bit more in-depth in explaining that one size probably does not fit all. It concludes that in order to really decide what sort of presenter you are, you must be completely honest with yourself. They do, however, list a few different general categories people might fall into:

  • The Commander: A bit authoritarian and self-confident, but are good speakers because of it.
  • The Analyst: Very serious and organized, focuses on facts; usually hard to dispute their claims because of the research put into their presentations.
  • The Facilitator: Calm and accepting; usually good at tapping into an audience’s emotions.
  • The Motivator: Energetic and passionate; good at weaving a story and creating memorable presentations.

The variety of opinions available on the subject can be staggering. Perhaps you’ve looked over all of the listed possibilities and don’t feel you truly fit any of these options. As I said before, each person is an individual, and so you may not clearly fit any one box.

There is very little direct empirical data on what makes different types of presenters, and many of the articles listed above directly admit that their findings aren’t meant to be taken as gospel truth, but more as potential guidelines for people interested in the subject. As such, it is difficult to say for certain what set—if any—is best used to examine the subject.

What can be done is to examine the common threads between these articles. Of note, “The Teacher” and “The Motivator” labels appear twice, likely because of the fact that teachers quite frequently have to speak to large groups of people, and presentations can often be used to motivate others to action. Other similarities across the board include:

  • The Motivator and the Coach, who are both on the more energetic side of things
  • The various groups who either primarily focus on facts or on emotions
  • The idea that people are either “data-oriented” or “people-oriented”

Based on these threads, I've found three different categories that are common to all of these presenter models: fact-focused versus emotion-focused, data-oriented versus people-oriented and energetic versus reserved.


Fact vs. Emotion

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You are likely fact-focused if you:

  • Like dealing with figures and logic rather than opinions
  • Cite a lot of reliable outside sources when presenting your data
  • Don’t like stating something unless you have plenty of sources to back up your claim
  • Have several figures and charts in your presentations

If you’re fact-focused, you’re likely very good at presenting a logical explanation, and can probably guide your audience through difficult topics. However, you also likely struggle to engage your audience on an emotional level.

You are likely emotion-focused if you:

  • Use a lot of emotionally-charged words to persuade an audience.
  • May use how you, or others, feel about a topic as a way to prove your point.
  • Include a lot of passion and storytelling in your speaking.

Being emotionally-focused means you can engage your audience on a deeper level than someone who is purely fact-focused by sweeping listeners up in your own feelings. Being purely emotionally-focused can make it difficult for audiences to find you credible, however.


Data vs. People

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This categorization is similar in some ways to Fact vs. Emotion, but with slight differences.

Someone who is data-oriented is likely to:

  • Provide a lot of figures and do a lot of research.
  • Focus on presenting what he or she found, rather than engaging the audience.

This person may be very passionate about a topic but is probably far less concerned about engaging his or her audience, instead speaking from something of a distance.

Someone who is people-oriented is likely to:

  • Try very hard to engage their audience, possibly including things like quizzes or asking for volunteers to help with certain tasks.
  • Likely appeals quite frequently to the audience themselves, possibly allowing questions to be asked during the presentation.

This person may be able to keep the audience’s attention longer than someone purely data-oriented, especially if the chosen topic is something the audience isn’t particularly interested in. However, the individual also runs the risk of being sidetracked.


Energetic vs. Reserved

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If you’re an energetic presenter, you likely:

  • Speak with a lot of enthusiasm.
  • Are eager to stand in front of a crowd and talk about your work, project, etc.
  • Have your words either memorized, or spend a lot of time ad-libbing.
  • Pace and use hand-gestures.
  • Try to engage the audience.

This person is, more than likely, an extrovert and natural speaker. This individual is probably very charismatic and can wrap the audience up in his or her vision, but there’s also the risk of the enthusiasm being a bit overwhelming.

If you are a reserved presenter, you likely:

  • Would prefer not to speak to a large crowd.
  • Have quite a few flash cards, or something similar, to make sure you don’t forget anything.
  • Stand mostly in the same place.
  • May have more information to a slide.
  • Focused more on getting your information across than trying to actively engage the audience.

A reserved presenter can easily come across as cold or distant, and is probably most comfortable working behind the scenes. This person is also probably more prone to being nervous than the energetic presenter. However, he or she is also less likely to come at the audience with too much information or energy to handle, and is probably able to slow down enough to give the audience time to grasp the information presented.

It’s likely you don’t fall cleanly into one category, but are a mixture of several. However, thinking about what sort of presenter you might be—even under blanket turns—allows you to take a step in the right direction. It’s the first step toward self-reflection and deciding what methods work best for you when giving a presentation.


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About the Author

Kayla Darling is a writer from Rome, Pennsylvania who has been writing and posting stories online for years. She graduated from Lycoming College with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology. She has a passion for community service and storytelling, and probably spends an inordinate amount of time doing both.

10 responses to “6 Types of Presenters: Which One Are You? [Quiz]”

  1. […] Now that you know what kind of communicator you are and how to interact with others according to their communication styles, learn more about what kind of presenter you are here. […]

  2. althea michael says:

    I don’t seem to be able to access the quiz to test my communication style! Pray help!

  3. Dawn Allen says:

    i know what kind of person i am. I am a Relator i am the relationship builder

  4. shannon says:

    I am definitely a Relationship builder

  5. Jolene says:

    Thank you for letting me no that I’m a relater.

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