Do you want to be a more passionate speaker? According to the response I received from the post 3 words that describe you as a speaker, you do. Many of you shared your words with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and in the comment section of this blog. Here were the results:
Being passionate is the CLEAR winner. It what you as speakers want to give your audience.
What is passion? Passion is an exchange of energy. It's about emotional connection with your audience. It encompasses authenticity and vulnerability. Passion is not easy to accomplish.
Love your topic
The first step to passion is being in-love with what you are saying. You cannot fake this. If you are just not into a topic (just like if you are
just not into your date), you can't fake it. Your audience will sniff out fake enthusiasm and passion immediately.
Have you ever seen a speaker who said “I'm so excited to be here today” and the look on his face said “I'd rather be at the county morgue than with you people”?
Yep, we know. Just like poker, there are certain tells when a speaker is just not that into his speech.
But Michelle – what if I don't love my topic?
Well you're screwed. Kidding! Inevitably (especially if you are in the corporate world), you are going to be asked to give a presentation that you might not love or if you were on a blind date with the topic, you wouldn't make it past the first cup of coffee. It happens. When that happens it is your job to create moments in that presentation that you are passionate about.
It could be a story, a statistic – yes people do love statistics – or a key takeaway. Work hard on creating those moments.
In my past life, I did a research project on how people grocery shop – yes people do research how you grocery shop. To make the presentation one I loved, I told a story that had a ton of va-va-voom for me. I told a story about how my mom use to grocery shop. You remember those once a week grocery shops – where your mom would sit down the night before, craft a huge list, hit the flyers and clip coupons? That's the story I told. Audiences loved it – it reminded them of their own parents.
Find the one thing that makes your heart sing about your presentation and that will elevate your passion on topics you don't care about.
Believe with your whole heart and being in what you are saying
Whether you love your topic or want to run it over with a rusted-out pickup truck, you need to believe in what your saying. This strikes at the heart of authenticity. If you believe in your message, your audience will believe in it too.
Think of the sleazy, smarmy used car salesperson. When you walk on the lot, you know that dude. He'll say anything to get you to buy a car. It's not about having your best interests at heart. It's about having that commission in his pocket.
Believe in what you say and always, always have your audience's best interest at heart. And this leads to the 3rd tip…
Respect your audience
The point of being a passionate speaker is to serve your audience. I'm always infinitely grateful for whoever will give me an hour of their time to listen to me speak. It's important to keep your audience's best interest in mind. It's critical to serve them. It's vital to NOT waste their time.
The best way to start respecting your audience is to prepare early. Craft a clear, focused presentation that serves their needs or solves their biggest challenge. Then start to practice that message so NOT knowing the content doesn't get in your way with conversing and connecting.
Being a passionate speaker is a lofty, noble goal. If you love your topic, believe in your message and that it is the BEST message for those people, and finally give the audience the respect they deserve. You are on your way to passionate speaking.
Need help ingiting your speaking spark, schedule an Ignite Your Speaking Session today to be more passionate, confident and clear.