Use Enthusiasm to Achieve Great Things with Your Speech
Enthusiasm is an exceptional excitement, interest, or devotion. In public speaking, excitement about your subject will make a speech come alive. It will enable you to capture the attention of your audience. That not only makes you more persuasive or motivational, it makes you a more interesting speaker.
So your audience wins, they get a wonderful experience and at the same time learn or receive needed information. They get something that will benefit them. You win by accomplishing the objective of your presentation.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
So how do you achieve something great in your speech? How can you create enthusiasm?
To build enthusiasm, as always, first consider your audience.
All the enthusiasm in the world for something people don’t want or need will be of little value in your speech.
However, if it is relevant, if it is real, and it could benefit the audience, your excitement about the subject, will give you an edge. So know your audience and tell them the self serving benefit to them your information will bring.
Get Your Edge
How do you get an edge? You already are speaking with the purpose of trying to get your most wanted response. Perhaps you even have a primary and secondary goal you wish to accomplish with your audience. With an enthusiastic presentation you make the whole more than the sum of the parts. It can’t be stressed enough, it has to be real to truly benefit the audience.
For any speech or speaking you have to do, get your emotions involved in the subject. Show your excitement, your interest, your devotion, your passion in what ever your subject is.
What if they don’t want or are not interested in your message. Ahhhh. That is where the unique pre-selling proposition mixed with enthusiasm can save the day.
Your Unique Pre-selling Proposition and Enthusiasm
If you think, “But, I’m not selling anything,” think again. You’re introducing a subject or presenting an idea that you want them to buy into. In other words, you’re selling. Not in the traditional sense of the word but still selling.
What is your unique pre-selling proposition?
To pre-sell means to prep them for the sale or mental ‘buy in’ of your message. If you go in knowing they neither need nor want what it is you are offering, good salesmanship traditionally teaches you should cut your losses and say good bye.
Ask yourself how many times you saw an ad several to dozens of times before you went ahead and bought. The initial ads only planted seeds that needed to germinate before they could grow.
However with that knowledge, you propose or create a proposition that will get them to listen. The proposition may only be, “for your information” with the caveat of what’s in it for them. Why would they need to know what it is you have to offer?
For one thing, the knowledge you are offering to them will enhance their life. It will make them better at what ever. Your message needs to have that formula and with in that formula, enthusiasm. The excitement, interest, or devotion to what ever your message is.
In other words, even though the information might not benefit them today, you’re so excited about it, you want them to have this knowledge so that it will be available to them in the future. No selling, just preselling.
It goes to a very basic philosophy we follow at Speechmastery.com. The most self serving thing you can do is be selfless, the most self satisfying thing you can do is serve others.
When you serve others even though there is nothing in it for you (or at least it may appear that way) you will reap rich rewards.
A true story from June, 2006. I recently went to New Hope PA, one of the top 20 places to buy art in the USA. It just so happened it had been one of the best places I found to sell my art too. Over 14 pieces in one year. Alas, my gallery representation there closed due to retirement. So looking for a new gallery to represent me, I started scouting out the town.
The first gallery was way out of my league. Hudson School Paintings by Charles Rhinehart that (if you like that kind of art) you would drool over were in the entry way. They started at $20K. My highest and best only sells for $6K. On introducing myself as an artist in abstract impressionism he asked to see some of my art. I didn’t think he would be interested because I am in the Minor leagues and he is in the Majors as far as art goes.
During the initial viewing of photos of my paintings, I also shared some art marketing tips with him. I demonstrated it on two pieces he had in his gallery. Within minutes he had a customer who he showed this unique feature of a beautiful painting with gold leaf in the paint. The now enthusiastic patron had to rush out to get his wife to show her this incredible painting.
Howard has probably forgotten more than I will ever know about gallery selling. I on the other hand am a student of the psychology of art. Only recently have there been any in-depth high level studies on the subject. Freely sharing my knowledge even though it seemed hopeless provided me with my most wanted response.
I got an appointment to bring in my originals and he is considering carrying me.
Help people get what they want and you will get what you want. I never imagined even being considered by such a prestigious gallery. Even if he doesn’t carry me, it was a wonderful experience and we will probably be working together in the future in some way.
Blind enthusiasm can make you look fanatical. Although you want to strive for an animated presentation, balance is needed. Don’t be excited about every thing you say. If you do, your enthusiasm will quickly use up the energy of your audience and tire them out. Some parts of your speech will require more, others less.
Where in your speech do you present with more enthusiasm? The places where you want to motivate. The parts you want to persuade. The high points of what you’re speech is about. This will stir the audience up to feel as do you about what you’re saying.
To believe something new we mentally need a basis for that belief. For instance, when doing scientific testing, controls are used. The control group allows a measurement of the results and how good or bad they are.
Your enthusiasm needs a control group of words. This way the reality of the enthusiasm can measured against what the audience perceives as your biases or personal reality.
A word of caution is due here. First about the dark side: blind enthusiasm is called fanaticism. If your devotion or enthusiasm is a biased thinking, it will be blind to difficulties, challenges and objections. Nothing will kill your credibility as fast as fanaticism.
There are times when enthusiasm will need to be tempered with a somber tone. Perhaps some eulogies will require no enthusiasm, others may demand it because of the wish of the deceased or the enthusiasm for life they shared.
Talking of layoffs, bad news, and the like will require tempering the enthusiasm. Use sound judgment when and where to use it in a speech.
Use enthusiasm wisely and enjoy the rewards and excitement it brings. Let it well up from the heart. Let it overflow into your words. When appropriate be enthusiastic!