Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The ABC's of Public Speaking - E is for Energy

Many people desire to improve their speaking skills. When I write or speak about this topic I hear from people from all levels the career ladder. From the entry level employees, to CEOs, to entrepreneurs -- if you fine tune your speaking skills you will uncover more opportunities.

E it for Energy

If you are not excited and enthusiastic to address an audience, you should not take the stage. Do not accept an invitation to speak unless you really want to be there. If you do not like public speaking, or you have a reason not to want to address a certain group, then let somebody else be selected to make the presentation.

There is nothing worse than watching a speaker who is just going through the motions and steadily clicks though his or her slide deck. Any audience member who has seen such a monotone presentation knows the feeling of wishing they had sat on the isle near the exit.

When you speak, your energy level is very important. There is an unseen force that flows out of the person talking and makes a deep connection with those watching. Energy is the currency that is exchanged between the speaker and those listening. When you fail to put a spark of vigor into your delivery, then your audience quickly goes broke and has no energy to send back toward you.

An experienced speaker will draw power from the reactions of the crowd, and thus they will create a back and forth exchange of liveliness that will energize all. It is a continuous loop that will engage everyone and leave your audience with a more satisfying experience.

There are five steps to ensure that you are bringing energy to your presentation:

1. Be prepared. Those who claim they can "wing it" when speaking are usually flat on injecting real energy into their presentations. Preparation allows you to be on top of your game.

2. Accept the responsibility. It is an honor to be asked to speak to an audience. Feel the pride of being selected to make the presentation and couple that with an understanding of the responsibility you owe the audience to deliver a quality discussion.

3. Get enough rest. In today's busy world many people allow themselves to get run down. Make sure that you have had enough sleep and exercise in the days leading up to your presentation. This is especially important when you are speaking out of town. If you are exhausted your energy tank will be on empty.

4. Know the audience. Before you speak make sure that you know the make up of those in the seats. Ask questions in advance of the person who asked you to speak about the demographics of the audience. Additionally, arrive early and meet several of the people and learn about them. This will allow you to have personal connections which will help you relate to the crowd.

5. Have fun. It is exciting for everyone to watch others have fun. No matter what you are doing, if you are having fun, those watching will enjoy the experience more. This is true with speaking. If the audience gets the impression you are nervous or loathe speaking, they will feel your pain. Enjoy yourself while delivering your presentation and you will emote higher levels of positive energy.

Have A Great Day.


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