Boost Your Next Speech By Adding Enthusiasm

by drjim on July 31, 2012

Notes have no place in your next speech

Notes have no place in your next speech

How many times have you gone to hear a speaker only to be disappointed? What was it that made you disappointed? I’m willing to bet that at least part of the problem was that they were a boring speaker – you didn’t need to have great listening skills to discover that they didn’t grab and hold your attention. Since you never want your audience to think about you in the same way, you’ve got to take steps to make sure that this never happens to you. It turn out that the solution to this speaking problem doesn’t involve any presentation tips and is actually quite simple – get some enthusiasm!

Know Your Stuff

Too many times when I’ve gone to listen to a speaker, I’ve come away thinking that they really weren’t an expert on the topic that they were speaking on. You can’t let this happen to you the next time that you give a speech. It turns out that the intersection of both enthusiasm and confidence is what we call expertise. This all relates to the importance of public speaking.

Take the time to do your homework. Become the expert that your audience wants to come and hear. Make sure that you are going to be able to quickly and clearly answer all of the questions that your audience might answer.

Meet Your New Friend – A Prop

What you need to remember when you are planning your next speech is that you are pretty much going to be standing up in front of your audience naked. There’s not that much between you and them – you’ve got your voice and maybe a few gestures to entertain them with and that’s about it.

You can improve your odds of being able to deliver a great speech by adding some props to your speech. The value of a prop is that it is something different, something unusual, something that your audience was not expecting. Remember that all of the standard rules apply – your props are going to have to be large enough to be seen by your audience and they’re going to have to relate to what you are talking about.

Say Goodbye To Notes

It can be all too easy to rely on notes while you are giving a speech. I mean, just think about all of the material that you want to make sure that cover during your speech. I have found myself falling back into the habit of using notes because I’ve been delivering multiple speeches that were created shortly before they were due – this is a bad trend on my part.

When you rely on notes during a speech, you are missing an opportunity to connect with your audience at a deeper level. Your notes will stand as a barrier between you and your audience and will end up making your speech sound more mechanical. Take the time to review your speech enough times that you can deliver it without having to use notes and your audience will love you for it.

What All Of This Means For You

The reason that all of us go to the effort of getting up in front of an audience and go to the effort of delivering a speech is because we want to make an impact on them. We know the benefits of public speaking and we’ll lose them if we come across as being boring because then this is not going to happen.

In order to make sure that we are able to connect with our audience, we need to inject some enthusiasm into our next presentation. This level of energy is infectious. If we can show our audience that we believe in what we are talking about, then what will happen is that we’ll be able to draw them into our speech and get them excited.

Enthusiasm is not something that can be faked. As a speaker you are going to have to take a careful look at what you’ll be talking about and find what part of it captures your attention the most. You can then use this part to generate the level of enthusiasm that you’ll be able to use during your speech in order to make sure that you truly make an impact on your audience!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should only use props that are large enough to be seen from the back of the room?

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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

How many times have you gone to hear a speaker only to be disappointed? What was it that made you disappointed? I’m willing to bet that at least part of the problem was that they were a boring speaker – you didn’t need to have great listening skills to discover that they didn’t grab and hold your attention. Since you never want your audience to think about you in the same way, you’ve got to take steps to make sure that this never happens to you. It turn out that the solution to this speaking problem doesn’t involve any presentation tips and is actually quite simple – get some enthusiasm!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Graham Young July 31, 2012 at 7:34 am

While I agree that speaking without notes is better for audience engagement this has to be weighed up against the possibility of looking a complete fool if you forget what it is you stood up to say.

I think, used properly, notes in the form of “cue cards” can be very helpful and will not make your talk more mechanistic.

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Dr. Jim Anderson August 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Graham: you make a very good point — in a high-stress situation like giving a speech, the last thing that any of us want to do is forget what we are trying to say next. It really doesn’t matter if you call it a “cue card”, a list of bullets, or simply “notes” but something that you could use to find where you are at if you get lost is a must for any speaker. Just don’t write the whole thing out…!

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