Master Your Message Blog

Are You In Sync With Your Audience’s Personality?

SELF Personality Style Matrix

There are four basic personality styles. Generally, people can be classified as one of the four. That said, keep in mind that most people have qualities from more than just one. You tend to be dominant in the traits of one style over the others. So, it’s a relative thing – and in most cases, should be used for illustrative purposes only.

I’m also exaggerating to some degree to help contrast the different styles.

I’ve provided the SELF matrix to help you get a feeling for how these traits are delineated. 

There are four personality extremes identified on the chart. At the top of the centre vertical line is the trait of “more need to direct.” These are people who need to be in charge. They’re more comfortable “running the show.” They get uncomfortable when they’re not in control.

The opposite trait is identified at the bottom of the vertical line. These people are happy to let others be in charge. They’re happy to be a team player, to follow a leader rather than lead themselves.

Knowing your audience’s personality type could be the key in helping you connect with them during a presentation.

On the left of the chart is the trait of “needing people more.” These are people who ‘like’ people—they like to be amongst friends. They tend to be genuinely concerned about how others are doing. They’re very personable and easy to get to know. They ’re always willing to listen and have your best interests are heart.

On the other side of the chart (the right side of the horizontal line) are the opposite types – those who “need people less.” They’re not loners, but they might seem aloof compared to the ones on the left hand side of the chart. They aren’t that interested in “small talk” and are not obvious team players. They’re just as happy to work on their own as in a group.

Your audience from hell is likely at the opposite corner of the matrix from you! Best to know who they are ahead of time.

Combinations and degrees of these traits make up the four areas of the matrix. Opposing corners clash – they’re opposite personality styles. Adjacent quadrants tend to get along just fine, because they are similar in many ways.

If you’d like to take a personality “quiz” on the National Seminars website to find out what area of the matrix you align with, go to The SELF Quiz and sign in. You’ll get to take the SELF quiz at no charge.

I highly recommend knowing your basic personality style, along with your personality strengths and weaknesses. If will give you tremendous insight into those people you don’t naturally get along with  – which can be the key to connecting with them in a presentation situation. It can also help you with your relationships in all aspects of your life.

Here are the four types:

  • Driver
  • Initiator
  • Relator
  • Anaylyst

Over the next few days, I’ll give you my “take” on each of the four personality styles, from an personal and audience perspective.

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