Friday, August 27, 2010

Public Speaking: Enthusiasm

I was doing some work for a government agency where I was hired to critique
and improve the sales presentations of the program staff.
It was an early
morning program full of typical mistakes by typical untrained presenters. The
audience was nearly asleep from the boring presentations and sugar crash they
were suffering after eating pastries when they got there.

I had been watching one particular presenter prior to his segment and I was
thinking to myself, "I'm going to have to really tear this guy up on his
evaluations." He was poorly groomed, including big dandruff flakes on his
poorly fitting sports jacket. His tie was hanging out over the top of his jacket
button. His pants were way too short I mean WAY too short. He appeared to
be just a goober of a guy.

When it was his turn to present his boring legislative issues topic, I got the
shock of my life. He virtually flew up on the stage. He was running around like
Groucho Marx. He was spouting off facts and figures. He made a perfect ad-lib
when the electrically operated overhead screen started to go up by itself. The
audience woke up and they were laughing and learning from this man. He
actually got applause in a meeting that wasn't even a setting where applause
would be appropriate.

From that experience I learned the value of enthusiasm. This man made
almost every technical error a presenter could make, but I gave him the highest
evaluation of all the other presenters. If you are ultimately enthusiastic about
your topic and let it show, many of your errors will go unnoticed. It's the same
way with storytelling and presenting in general. Your enthusiasm can make or
break your overall performance.

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1 comment:

Public Speaking Training Classes in Nigeria said...

One thing I always tell myself (and friends, too) is that enthusiasm is a contagious disease. Ostracise yourself and no one will catch it; display it in the public and your audience will catch the fever!

If YOU are not excited about your "great new idea", neither will they.