Speaker Style: Brené Brown, The Storytelling Introvert

By Briohny Williams | Speaker Style

Apr 24

Today's Speaker Style is Brene Brown's The Call to Courage Netflix Original

Brene Brown's The Call To Courage is available on Netflix. Click image to access

We're not all born with the ability to jump up on stage or hold the whole rooms' attention with a story, however we all have the ability to learn how to be great at public speaking.

The people that capture our hearts and minds have all spent time on their public speaking skills, strengthening over time with practice and good habits.

You can do that too by watching other speakers to see what you like, what you don't, and think about how you could use what you like to develop your own personal style.

Speaker Style

The Storytelling Introvert

It's just like a chat with your best pal, with plenty of sweary bits (Brene loves an f-bomb) and loads of laugh-out-loud, relatable stories. As a self-proclaimed introvert, she may find it easier to stand up to a crowd like that than attend the promotional events that accompany the release of the documentary, however the focus here is on the story she wants to share. You know there is an ocean of knowledge backing up the opinions delivered in her credible and comfortable style.  The persuasive examples she uses to demonstrate her studies into shame and vulnerability will make you laugh and cry. Her studies illustrate that these are powerful topics for many people, and to quote Brene "Maybe stories are just data with a soul". 


The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington – Brené Brown Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. I’m the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead. Read more at BreneBrown.com

Quotable Quote

Brene herself has loads of her own quotable quotes, however the most powerful moment is when she recalls the turning point after her initial 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerabilitywas shared to the world, followed by the intense shame and embarrassment she felt after reading negative comments about her weight and appearance. She needed a Teddy Roosevelt quote to turn her perspective around.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming." — Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

What To Watch For

  • The Roosevelt quote uses perfect pauses for emphasis and builds feeling
  • It's a storytelling masterclass. Every key point is illustrated with a story to show us not only what she found in her studies, but she powerfully shows how her points relate to us all.  Writing notes, holding hands, tears.. the audience were absolutely HOOKED.
  • The language she uses. She's very relaxed using relatable, everyday language. Some people may be turned off by the swearing, however it serves to reinforce that this is a talk for everyone (of a sweary age). 
  • Her energy management. It's a long talk and she's just as passionate, interested and engaged at the end as she is in the beginning of the talk. 

Netflix have made accessing thought provoking documentaries as easy as can be. There's a huge range of nonfiction available to get those synapses firing!

If you've got a talk you love, pop it in the comments below!

Want to work on your Storytelling skills?

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