In 2008, Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Tony Stark in Iron Man, the standalone film that cemented the character’s impact in the pop culture zeitgeist. Downey brought levels of complexity to the man in the iron suit, making Stark’s character flawed, comical, and lovable.
In the brief scene where Tony Stark holds his first press conference, we pick up on a lot of traits that make him a noticeable presenter.
So how would I score Tony Stark, or what would be his persona? Based on this short scene, I would score him as the Demonstrator where he scores high in two of the four quadrants which includes Exploration, Sharing, Response and Durability.
Here’s my breakdown:
This is the highest score for Stark. Because Stark cares about his image and wants the spotlight to follow him, he puts in a lot of thought into what he wants to say. When it comes to giving a presentation, the Demonstrator will be over-prepared. We see this in Stark as well. He knows how powerful his technology can be, and in the movie he sees first-hand what could happen if the weapons he engineers ends up in the wrong hands. While this particular scene catches Stark going off the cuff, he has the knowledge and data to back up his statements.
Sharing is another high score for Stark. He is comfortable speaking in front of others, and can be himself (even if it gets him in trouble). He has the ability to entertain, and can hold an audience’s attention the entire time he speaks. Mostly because he is unpredictable and holds great power, even without the Ironman suit.
Tony Stark does have enemies, which gives him a mid- to low score in Response. Because of his threat to end weapon production, his closest colleague turns on him. He was also held captive in the Middle East so that a terrorist group could obtain his weapons. So, with power comes great responsibility. And Stark’s irresponsible behavior lands him in dangerous situations. Not to mention, he also is very full of himself and uses sarcasm to avoid answering tough questions.
Iron Man isn’t recognized for having a famous saying or slogan. He’s more recognized for the technology and gadgets in his suit. So, while Tony Stark may be a captivating superhero, his Durability as a presenter is low. Stark may be too busy spouting off numbers and figures to develop a plan to save the world to worry about the lasting impact of his message; but he definitely has the power and personality to say something that will leave an impression on many people.
Tony Stark may be a bit big-headed and focus more on his suit than others, but he is a dynamic character that commands the stage and holds a lot of power with his words. That’s what makes him a strong Demonstrator.
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