The Blog

Public Speaking: How To Connect With People

Are you a square?

Or a circle.

Perhaps a triangle.

Could you be a squiggle?

public speaking courses glasgow connie podesta.

Asking the questions was Connie Podesta, an American public speaker at a London conference I attended this week.

The author of seven books.

My favourite is Life Would Be Easy If It Weren’t For Other PeopleI wrote a blog on this here.

I’d heard her before and was looking forward to further insights from this comedienne/therapist.

What shape are you?

public speaking courses glasgow man with tablet square person.

Squares are the detail people.

Structured, left-brain types.

They’re list people.

When they say they’ll do something, they do it.

Circles are the party people, the social people.

They’re motivators, peace-makers and love helping others.

public speaking courses glasgow three women with shawl circle person.

Triangles get straight to the point.

They want things done their way.

Often perfectionists.

Then there are squiggles.

These are the ideas people, who think outside the box.

They like to be different and are guided through life by post-it notes.

People are different

public speaking courses glasgow different people standing in swimming baths.

We need to know this because we like to be communicated with according to the way WE see the world.

The trouble is, Connie explained, that each shape prefers to communicate the way THEY see the world.

This causes problems, especially in public speaking.

Squares are driven mad by the unstructured conversations of squiggles.

Squiggles have authority issues if the squares get bossy.

And circles just want to talk when triangles want a purpose.

While the circles just wish the triangles would lighten up and enjoy themselves.

With public speaking, try a new viewpoint

public speaking courses glasgow boy on viewing platform looking through binoculars.

With her brilliant insights, Connie entertained and educated us for five hours during her speech.

Her aim was helping us to see it from the other person’s point of view.

It’s a major part of the public speaking training we share with clients, whether at our studios in Glasgow or in seminars all over the world.

When we see it from the audience’s point of view, we connect with them.

It’s how we convince a senior colleague to follow our plan.

It’s how to turn a prospect into a client, how to win a contract.

It’s how to succeed in a job interview.

We all need each other

public speaking courses glasgow man wife we need each other.

But here’s one irony.

Squares and triangles are attracted to circles and squiggles as life partners.

You see, when they team up, each makes up for the other’s deficiencies.

A squiggle will come up with a great idea for a holiday.

A square will be the one to plan the trip.

A circle will invite lots of fun people to a party.

The triangle will ensure the food and drink are all laid out and the house is looking good.

So what shape are you, or what combination?

And what shapes are the people you’re looking to influence with your public speaking?

When you work that out, it could stop you feeling like a round peg in a square hole.


Bill McFarlan is the Executive Chairman of Pink Elephant Communications in Glasgow.

You can view his full profile here


Photo credit: Do8y via Foter.comTom PumfordMaarten van den HeuvelTimothy Paul Smith on Unsplash

1st August 2017 Featured in: Blog By:

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  • Jan

    Good blog. I like the examples towards the end – very relatable

    • Andrew McFarlan

      Thanks Jan – appreciate the feedback, and trust the blog is helping you with your own presentation skills! Regards, AM

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