PIQ- What Is It and How Does It Work?

You can’t be the speaker you were born to be until you know what kind of speaker you are now. You need to take a minute to assess your skill level, identify your strengths, and pinpoint your areas of weakness. You also need to know the type of speaker you aspire to be. You need to know your presentation IQ (PIQ). 

Think of your PIQ as your public speaking and presentation DNA. 

You probably have a general idea of your PIQ, but I have developed a quiz to help you drill down into your speaking ability and identify areas for growth. It will also help me identify the best ways to coach you as you improve your speaking skills. The questions in the quiz fall into three basic categories: your comfort with speaking, your speaking style, and your speaking goals. 

Your comfort with speaking is pretty self-explanatory. Do you love to get up in front of a crowd or does the idea of speaking in public make you physically ill? Even if it’s the latter it is possible to be an excellent public speaker. Trust me, I have dealt with stage fright for almost my entire career. 

Comfort with speaking goes beyond dealing with anxiety. It is also about how you inhabit the spaces where you present, and how willing you are to really command a room. It is about taking control and leading the audience where you want to take them. Some speakers are naturals at this, but most have some work to do before they can really master it. 

Your speaking style is as unique as you are, but it probably also has some basic elements that other speakers possess. Are you a data-driven speaker, or a natural storyteller? Do you enjoy connecting with your audience on a personal level, or are you there to rally the troops? Your speaking style is all about how you want to get your message across. 

Your speaking style goes hand in hand with your speaking goals. This is how you want the audience to feel at the end of your presentation, and what you want them to do. Sometimes it’s easy to determine those two things, but other times it isn’t so clear. And it may change depending on the occasion. Most of the time, though, your speaking goals will remain relatively stable. You may want to motivate, or to encourage introspection. You may want to teach, or to organize. Some speakers just want to make people laugh. 

Putting all these pieces together will inform you and me of your current PIQ. From there we can look at ways to improve your speaking abilities and expand your opportunities as a presenter. We can also look at how to take the abilities you already possess and expand them so you have more tools in your toolbox. 

Let’s get started. Take the quiz.