How to Add Passion to Your Presentations & Speeches

How do you get passion into your speeches, lectures and presentations?  And is it something you need to be born with or is it learnable? These are questions I am asked often in workshops and coaching sessions for speaking and presenting..

Perhaps some people are born with more innate passion that others, and perhaps some show their passion more than others, but the answer is yes, it is something that you can learn to do better. To do it well enough to impress people takes practice and commitment, but you can make a difference just by following these three methods:

CREATE CONTENT TO BE PROUD OF. One of the easiest ways to feel good about what you are saying is to have content that you are actually proud of. You will need to make an effort to develop, verify and structure your content so this can hardly be called a short cut, but it works. When you have very strong messages then you will automatically feel more confident and this will be obvious to your audience. This means that you need to put more effort into the planning stage, crafting two or three key messages and supporting them with good, well-researched examples. You should also be testing your ideas on other people to make sure that they make sense and to hear what people don't understand or don't find compelling. This way you will also find out what questions are likely to come up so you can research obvious side issues.

KNOW YOUR MATERIAL AND MORE. Spend some time to learn your content so that you can deliver your speech or presentation without notes, without hesitation and without getting lost. Hint: this is much easier when you created simple, clear messages. Just being able to deliver a lecture confidently without notes gives you much more credibility and it gives a clear sense that you believe in what you are doing. It also makes it easier to focus on the delivery, making eye contact with the audience and giving the impression that what you say comes from the heart, not from your notes. And unless you are a professional actor you are not going to be able to read things so that they sound natural. To really impress people you will need to know all of the content you plan to use plus some more in reserve that can help in answering questions.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE THEN PRACTICE SOME MORE. Finally, the most effective "short cut" to speaking with passion is simply to practice your content again and again until it sounds natural. Depending on your experience this may take more or less time. Maybe you don't have so much time but use what you  have. Always run through a speech at least once speaking out loud and focus your attention on the beginning and end. You should always be able to do at least these without looking at any notes or slides. If you are in a situation where you can't practice out loud, either find a corner where you can or at least speak silently, moving your face muscles without making sound.

When your content is weak you will struggle to sound like you believe it yourself. When you don't know it well you will come across as uncertain and doubtful. And without that essential practice you will get tangled up, lose your way or forget things, shooting your credibility to pieces. Just by following my three-step recipe you can avoid this and maybe earn yourself a reputation as a passionate speaker, whether you were born that way or not.


Lectures, Workshops, Coaching, Writing

For information about lectures, workshops, coaching and writing on this and other communication topics visit http://andrewhennigan.com, email conseil@andrewhennigan.com or call 0033 6 79 61 42 81.



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