Newsletter October 04
Imagine a sepia photograph of a Victorian family. They sit still and rigid, don’t smile and look formal.
Then imagine a photograph of a modern-day family taken on the spur of the moment. They wear colourful clothes, smile, and look happy and natural.
One of these photos will have more ‘energy’ to it.
Now, if these photos were communication styles, which would you prefer? The formal rigid style, or the colourful, natural style?
Basically we warm to people with energy. We like to listen to them, we find it fun and interesting, AND we more readily take on board their message.
So to get our message across as effectively as possible, we need to put some energy into our speaking.
BUT it must be ‘disciplined’ energy. We’ve all seen people brimming with enthusiasm whose words tumble out in no logical order, making it difficult to understand.
How can we give energy to our speaking?
(Note: This newsletter builds on the basics we covered in our previous newsletter)
Let me use some examples from a seminar I attended recently given by Ian Grant of Parenting with Confidence. His energy was infectious. He won the audience over easily.
What did he do?
· He looked like he was enjoying himself!
· He started off by giving out chocolate bars to build rapport and a sense of fun
· He smiled and laughed
· He interacted with the audience – he used people’s names
· He told many human-interest stories we could relate to
· He used colourful visuals, (PowerPoint slides) but only as a support to his speaking, not as the main focus
· He moved around on the stage easily
· He used a conversational speaking style, as if he were speaking to a group of friends
· He spoke enthusiastically about his topic
· He came across as being passionate about his topic
· He came across as having a huge wealth of knowledge on the topic, and gave himself credibility during the seminar by referring to some of his achievements in his field
Now, we may not be as high-energy speakers as Ian, but if we incorporate some if these aspects into our speaking, we’ll bring in more energy, will engage our audience more, and will get across our message more effectively.
If you feel that giving energy to your speaking is still a way off – take heart from this quote by Paul Arden: “Energy. It’s 75% of the job. If you haven’t got it, be nice.”
Translated into public speaking – if you aren’t an energetic speaker yet, win your audience over by the warmth in your personality.