The 3 Levels of Verbal Delivery

Day 333/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Threes".

There are lots of ways to think about how we speak, and the way we deliver our message in the workplace. There is no one single standard for what is required and what is considered “great.” Authenticity always needs to rule the day, and we all need to have the confidence to speak in our own voice and with our own style.

But beyond the global rule of “authenticity first,” my colleagues and I at The Latimer Group have a way of thinking about and teaching delivery skills that may be helpful to you. We think about delivery on three levels:

LEVEL 1 – At this level, your delivery skills are not yet world-class, and you have plenty of possible improvements to make. But at a minimum you have your speech patterns and behaviors in check so that you do not distract your audience from hearing your message. You have limited verbal pauses (“um”), you don’t mumble, you don’t speak too fast, you don’t have any super distracting body language, etc. There is nothing strong or memorable, but at least you don’t distract your audience with something truly annoying. At this level, we are not yet where we need to be, but it could be far, far worse.

LEVEL 2 – Here, in addition to not distracting your audience, you have developed your delivery in such a way that you now possess the techniques to help your audience retain the key information. You have a toolbox full of skills that help you get the key information across, and be retained. You use techniques like speaking in bullet points and the pause and repeat, you speak with some WIIFY, your pace is measured, you give your audience a chance to absorb what they are hearing. You probably won’t be invited in to be the keynote at the company conference, but you do a professionally competent job.

LEVEL 3 – This is the top level, where in addition to not distracting AND helping the audience retain information, you now have delivery skills that impact the outcome. You have a strong presence. You command the room. You impact the energy and the experience of the audience with your voice, body language, facial expression, and vocabulary. You have the full arsenal of skills at your disposal.

Where do you think you fall today? And what is your plan to bring your skills to the next level?

Have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

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One response to “The 3 Levels of Verbal Delivery”

  1. […] we shared a framework my colleagues and I use at The Latimer Group,  that captures the different levels of delivery skills possible for business communication. We got a great deal of reaction on that piece, including a […]

Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.