4 Tempos

Rose: Hi, welcome to the Business Presentation Revolution podcast. I’ve just given the most, I mean most boring presentation of my life and I need to learn how to give a more interesting and captivating presentation.

Michael: So what happened?

Rose: I just gave the most boring presentation of my life.

Michael: How? What did people say?

Rose: Something about my voice. And they don’t care what I had to say.

Michael: Sounds to me like it’s monotony, right?

Rose: Yeah that sounds about right.

Michael: So they said you sounded monotonous. That is a problem with presenting for sure. But I do have a solution.

Rose: What’s that?

Michael: It’s called the Four Tempos. Now, the four tempos are based on work by Yat Malmgrem who created movement psychology when he worked with dancers and actors. What I’ve done is I’ve taken it and made it more simple and useful for speakers. Get a pen and try it. Write it down.

Rose: OK.

Michael: So, imagine an axis. First axis is the intention: light and strong. Second axis is vowels: short vowels, long vowels. Let’s hit the first tempo. The first tempo is called bright.

Rose: Bright.

Michael: Bright is short vowels and light intention. Okay? So it’s like a dabbing rhythm: dab-dab-dab. And you link it with the objective of humoring the audience, welcoming them. You know, just kind of getting a light and friendly tone going when you speak. Give it a try.

Rose: Welcome, today I have great news.

Michael: That’s great, you see. Excellent. Let’s move on to the second tempo. The second tempo is called human. That’s light intention and long vowels. So we link that with the objective of reassuring an audience, to calm them, to seduce them even. Give it a try.

Rose: Our technology is as relevant as ever.

Michael: Excellent! So the third tempo is called bold. Bold is strong intention and short vowels. So the motivation here is to get their attention, wake them up, make them motivated with this punchy kind of rhythm. All right? Pam, pam, pam! Give it a try.

Rose: With three million new users we are ready to take new risks!

Michael: That’s it! Excellent! Great. And now onto the last tempo, which is called captivating. Captivating is strong intention and long vowels. Right? So this is linked with objectives such as to underscore, to really spell something out or perhaps even to threaten your audience, or to warn them. Kind of like a pushing tempo. Give it a try.

Rose: Okay. So, let’s seize the future together.

Michael: Yeah, together! Excellent, very good. So that’s it. Bright, human, bold, captivating. And you can mix up your vocal rhythms and tempos and wake the audience up and get them more interested in what you’re saying.

Rose: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much Michael. I’m really glad I came here. So let’s recap.


  1. Engage your listeners with different tempos.
  2. Make your messages more memorable with phrasing.
  3. Link your vocal rhythm to your objective.

Rose: And thank you for joining The Business Presentation Revolution.

Rose: Join us on LinkedIn and YouTube for more. And we’ll see you real soon.