The Talk of The L’s: Leno vs. Letterman

Have watched a person present information and afterwards your reaction is “wow that was good.”  Many people fear public speaking but not these two big timers. Jay Leno and David Letterman are two of the most famous late night talk show hosts.  These two characters have many things in common and different in their presentation styles.

First of all they have very similar presentation Styles. Both Leno and Letterman start their shows with a monologue introduction. Both of them also like to use short video clips as visual aids and to get the audience more into their show.  Leno and Letterman like to base their show on humorous material or they will make the material humorous.  Both of the hosts also use items that the audience can relate to so all their material is relative.   After their monologue introductions they both like to have special guests to interview.  Both Leno and Letterman sit behind a desk while their guests sit on a couch or piece of furniture.  Their interviews with their guests are also very similar to each other’s by the fact that they both make the interview into a comedy skit. Like one another they are very enthusiastic while presenting not only through volume but also through hand gestures.

On the other hand there are a few things that differentiate Jay Leno and David Letterman.   One main way they differentiate is through their delivery of information.  Jay Leno likes to go further in depth with every topic and lets the subject marinate.  On the other hand, Letterman likes to only say a few keywords about a subject before moving on to the next one. Leno also uses more jokes composed from words rather than Letterman’s funny short video clips.

Although they are much more similar than they are different, there are some characteristic differences to distinguish between the two.  Through watching both of their shows I was able to compare and contrast the two talk show hosts.  It was not easy to see the differences between the two because their shows were almost like déjà vu.  These two main talk show host faces are definitely not scared of talking in front of the public.  So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you have to give a public speech, just think to yourself. What would Leno and Letterman do?

By Colton Reed, Exercise Science Major-IUPUC