As speakers, we believe in the importance of public speaking and we want the next speech that we give to be well received by our audience. Our constant challenge is finding ways to make this happen. We’ll spend a lot of time trying to get our words right, our PowerPoint slides right, and we might even spend some time making sure that our clothes are correct. However, could we be missing something even bigger? It turns out that if we’re not enthusiastic about our topic, we’re not going to be successful.
It’s All About The Body
Enthusiasm is contagious. If you show it, then your audience will catch it. However, you need to let your audience know that you really care about what you are talking about. You can do this in a number of different ways. If you say something that you can do with your body (“Walk into the room”) then you need to literally do that – show yourself walking.
When you say something funny, smile and laugh with yourself. The reason that all of this is so important is because you need to realize that during your speech the audience is going to be watching your every move and they are going to be especially watching your face. This means that every facial gesture will convey a great deal of information to your audience. This means that you need to use your eyebrows, your head, and even your shoulders when appropriate.
Pick Your Words Carefully
The words that your pick to use in your speech will have a big role to play in getting your enthusiasm across to your audience. What you need to remember is that this audience is eager to share this experience with you – they don’t just want to be the people who sat in the audience while you spoke. You have the ability to make this happen based on the words that you choose to use.
It can be all too easy for us to forget what we really are while we are delivering a speech – we are actors. Our speech is our performance. This means that we need to use colorful words and a lot of action verbs as we tell our speech. Remember that everyone in your audience has five different senses and you’re going to want the words that you use to appeal to all five.
Know Of What You Speak
What creates enthusiasm? It turns out that a key component of this is self-confidence. What this means for you is that you really have to know and understand the topic that you are talking about. The one thing that you really do not want to have happen is to reach a point in your speech and then all of a sudden not know what you want to say next.
What we need to realize is that any audience that we’ll be addressing is going to be watching us very carefully. They’ll pick on any gaps in our knowledge. Even worse would be if we didn’t care about the topic that we’re talking about – the audience will figure that out eventually and then they’ll tune you out.
Props Are Your Friend
When you take the time to bring along props to enhance your speech you are sending a clear message to your audience. You are telling them that you’ve taken the time to think about what you can do to ensure that they remember what you are going to tell them and that you’ve come up with some unique ways to make your message stick with them.
As you use your props during your speech, your voice and body gestures will send a clear message to your audience. They will come to understand just how much you really care about what you are talking about. This is what will convince them about your enthusiasm and the end result will be that they will pay attention to what you have to tell them.
What All Of This Means For You
Even the best written speech can always fall flat. If when you are giving your speech, your audience doesn’t detect that you really care about what you are talking about, then they are just going to tune you out and will miss out on the benefits of public speaking. What this means for you is that you are going to have to show a great deal of enthusiasm when you give your next speech.
In order to do this, you’ll need to make sure that your body language is telling your audience that you care about what you are talking about. The words that you use are going to have to be descriptive and allow them to share your experience. Make sure that you know what you are talking about because your audience will be able to detect it if you don’t know what you are talking about. Finally, bring props to your speech in order to show your audience that you’ve spent time thinking about how you can make sure that they remember what you say.
Enthusiasm is contagious. What you want to do in your next speech is to make sure that your audience catches it. In order for this to happen, you need to show them that you really care about what you are talking about. Build up your enthusiasm and then share it with your audience.
Question For You: Do you think that it is every possible to show your audience too much enthusiasm?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When I’m working with speakers who want to become better, one of the questions that always seems to come up has to do with hands. Specifically, what they want to know is what should they be doing with their hands during a speech. I think that we all understand that if we’re not careful, our hands can distract from our speech so what’s the right thing to do with them? The answer, it turns out, is to work them into your speech in order to make it even more powerful.