Let me tell you a story. I teach my 3 to 3.5 hour in-depth training seminar on public speaking to law firms, corporate executive groups, businesses, bar groups, associations, public agencies and the like. I fly all over the country to do this. And when I do it, no matter where I am, I am “on” for that entire 3 to 3.5 hour program.
Lack of sleep? Jet lag? Small or unappreciative crowd? It doesn’t matter. I smile, jump up in front of the group and let ‘em have it with both barrels. Even the most listless crowd will perk up if you attack your subject with gusto and there is no better way to win them over than to get them to enjoy something they start off thinking they’re going to hate.
So…what happens after the program is done? As you’d expect, I crash like a diabetic after a pie-eating contest. I’m so exhausted after these sessions I no longer schedule anything afterwards because I know I won’t have the energy to participate. I used it all up in the program. Why go to such lengths and put myself in such a state? Because it works. I repeatedly get comments about how exciting these programs are and how passionate and enthusiastic I appear to be.
And you know what? Even though I love teaching this seminar and I love the topic itself, there are times when I wake up at 6:00 am (an ungodly hour on any day) and think to myself, “Why am I doing this? I’m tired. I don’t want to do this.” It doesn’t happen often, but with my travel schedule and running two businesses, it happens some.
But when the time comes, I still turn it on for the presentation. And on the rare occasion when I have run out of steam in the last 20 minutes or so, it inevitably comes up in the evaluations. Audiences notice.
So if you want your audience to believe that you’re a good speaker and to hear what you have to say, you must be energetic. Give yourself the permission to show enthusiasm and get excited about your topic. Trust me — it’s contagious.