Let’s face it – it’s a lot more difficult to persuade an audience about anything if you don’t personally “believe” – no matter what your topic is. Why then do so many erudite speakers who believe fervently in their topics still fail to convince – or get their point across with conviction?
It’s simply that they have yet to master the skill of showing how much they care! It’s a bit like getting the joke and finding it amusing, but not laughing. You have it on the inside, but you’re not showing it on the outside! This critical communication skill engenders charisma – being authentically enthused so that you sweep people along with you. It combines charm and enthusiasm in the right doses, a good dollop – but not so much that it overwhelms.
Here are 9 tips on how to deliver your message with enthusiasm every time, and enhance your ability to persuade:
- Know what you’re going to say, where you’re going with your message and what you want the outcome to be. You should have a very clear objective.
- Have a compelling reason to be enthusiastic about what you’re saying. It’s easier to sell houses when you yourself own a house. If you’ve been successful building a large business you will have more credibility speaking on how to build successful businesses.
- Do your homework about your audience. You need to know why they may be interested in what you’ll be speaking about and plan your speech according to their context.
- Ensure that your presentation is structured logically. A powerful start is always recommended. Stories and analogies make your speech more engaging. A well thought out conclusion will round it off properly.
- Make sure that your rehearsals include focusing on how you use your voice when delivering your message. Your tone of voice is one of your best connecting tools and skilful use of intonation, emphasis and pausing can add tremendous impact to your words.
- Get yourself in the right frame of mind right from the preparation stages. Of course I’m assuming that you’ll be preparing, right? Being ready and excited about your speech just before you alight the podium is much easier when you’re properly prepped. But a conscious advance decision to be excited is very important too. Wearing your best smile is highly recommended.
- Be conscious of the movements you’re going to make. If you move your feet, do so purposefully but not too much. Gestures are crucial – especially when there are no visuals on the screen. It’s difficult to make too many gestures, but very easy to make too few! So, gesture away and mix them up! (meaning – avoid repetitive ones)
- Minimise the number of slides you use. Since you’re doing the persuading, not your slides – you need to use as much of your time as possible being the centre of attraction. Slides don’t smile or persuade, you do that.
- Get the audience involved. Ask them questions during your presentation, and allow them to ask questions too. Interaction is the path to creating engagement and buy-in – which is the reason you’re doing your presentation – to get buy-in.
If you feel confident about your presentation before you start, enthusiasm may well flow naturally anyway. If you use the 9 tips above, you will guarantee not only your confidence, but your audience a memorable experience. You then have every opportunity of achieving the success you deserve!
That’s the reason you deliver a speech in the first place, isn’t it? Well maybe not entirely. You may want to ask yourself – and answer a crucial question before you go live:
What’s in it for them? Somehow, it’s so much easier to transfer your genuine enthusiasm on to your audience if you’re certain that they will benefit from your recommendations.