Presentation Tips for Each Enneagram Type

As the phrase "one size fits all" rarely applies to one's wardrobe, it also fails when prescribing presentation tips to a range of presenters. It is no secret that each speaker brings their own strengths, weaknesses, fears, and goals to a presentation, thus influencing what mantras and words of guidance best encourage their growth. Here at Dog and Pony Show, we are big fans of the Enneagram Institute and the 9 personality types they speak to. With this knowledge in mind, we have crafted specific encouragements and challenges for presenters in each type; to discover your Enneagram type, you can take the free test here (or simply read the type descriptions and see which best captures you at your core). Happy learning!

1. The Reformer

Principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic- 1's presentations run like clockwork. While an audience appreciates the attention to detail and clear organization, 1's can challenge themselves to lean into moments of spontaneity and rawness. If an audience member asks a question that they aren't prepared for, or a 1 runs into technical difficulties, they can take those moments as an opportunity to show that while they may not have all the answers, they do have tools to guide your listeners along the way.

2. The Helper

The 2's caring, interpersonal, and people-pleasing heart allows them to connect deeply with each audience member; this creates moments of engagement throughout the presentations. While 2's strive to appease every audience member, it is key for them to remember that it is impossible to please everyone. Trying to do so will only water-down the impact of their message; 2's can strive to engage with their material in a way that is both authentic and applicable to your audience.

3. The Achiever

A natural performer, 3's possess the excellence and drive to capture the hearts and minds of any audience. Charismatic and confident, their presentations will compel any audience member to follow their lead. However, they should be wary of hyper-focusing on their idea of 'success' (whether that be a full sign-up sheet or fruitful networking hour) and be willing to appreciate success in all of its forms; if a 3's presentation plants a seed in the mind of only one audience member, that could be the start of something great.

4. The Individualist

With expressive and artistic flair, 4's are known for their unique and captivating perspective on the world. This translates well to their natural presentation style, as they present audience members with fresh and intriguing perspective. 4's should be aware of their focus on all things unique, and be sure that they are focusing on the bigger picture of their subject matter. Failure to do so can leave audiences confused and disengaged.

5. The Investigator

Intense, innovative, and perceptive, 5's process and organize information in an effective and organized manner. This contributes to their highly organized and informative presentations, as they share their detailed understandings of the world. In order to be successful presenters, 5's need to make sure that they are seeing their slides from their audience's perspective and explaining things from a place of universal understanding; if they design a presentation that is interesting to their mind, but not to the average joe's, their slides will fall flat.

6. The Loyalist

6's engage audience members with their sense of responsibility, engagement, and commitment. Their presentation style reflects this, as 6's are hyper-aware of their audience and their needs. However, this hyperventilate can often hold 6's back from taking creative risks in their presentations. Try exploring the possibility of a calculated risk- presenting something fresh to audiences will not only encourage engagement, but also set you apart from the competition.

7. The Enthusiast

Spontaneous, versatile, and fun-loving, audience members can count on 7's for fresh and dynamic presentations. The flexible nature of 7's allows them to tailor a presentation to any audience member and presentation hiccup. However, a 7's disorganization and ability to be distracted can threaten a successful presentation, causing the presenter to be unclear and scattered as they speak to their audience members. To prevent this disconnect, 7's can create an outline for the flow of their presentation to help them stay on track.

8. The Challenger

8's have the ability to unite and inspire the masses with their self-confidence, decisiveness, and willpower. With clear convictions and compelling communication, 8's can lead revolutions, plead a cause, and present a compelling argument. While an 8's intensity can captivate audiences, it can also make audiences feel intimidated or nervous. When presenting, 8's can build a self-awareness regarding their presentation style and focus on communicating successfully while creating an environment of collaboration.

9. The Peacemaker

Agreeable, easy-going, and reassuring, 9's craft presentations that put audience members at ease as they learn. The good nature of a 9 allows their presentations to sites for learning and collaboration, as audience members feel safe to question, inquire, and grow through the presentation content. However, the conflict-avoidance of 9's can make them nervous to present information that could be controversial; 9's can challenge themselves to lean into the uncomfortable vulnerability of conflicting ideas, thus allowing both themselves and audience members to have a richer experience.

Looking for more information on relevant presentation skills? Check out the Dog and Pony Show blog post on presentation lessons we can learn from Oprah Winfrey's 2013 Harvard Commencement Address!