How can I keep my enthusiasm where it needs to be?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution; different people need to do different things to increase their enthusiasm. Here are some things to consider.
Are you disengaged? Presenters who are disengaged can appear stiff and uncomfortable. When you are engaged your natural communication skills and enthusiasm will emerge. For more on engagement, read Dale’s post, Find your focus. Be yourself. Only better.
Is it a volume issue? Speaking louder is often the easiest way to increase your enthusiasm. Boosting your volume requires you to put more energy into your voice and makes you sound more passionate about your topic. To start your presentation on the right path, simply focus on the person farthest away from you in the room and speak to them. Doing this will naturally bring your volume up to an appropriate level.
Do you appear more enthusiastic when you increase your movement a bit? Purposeful movement can add energy to your presentation. For some people it gives them a positive way to release nervous energy (instead of fidgeting or pacing). For presenters who tend to be stiff, it can help them loosen up. Some examples of purposeful movement are moving toward the screen to point something out or moving toward a specific individual to connect with them.
The thing to remember, and this is something that’s true for everyone, is that presenting is hard work. If you’re not tired after a long presentation, you’re probably not working hard enough. A presenter asked me recently if she needed to fake it when she just wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic about her presentation. I said absolutely yes. You still have to look natural and be yourself, of course, but sometimes you have to pull your enthusiasm out of thin air.
Sarah Stocker graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in Communication. After college, she spent the first five years working as a stage manager for various theatres in Ohio. After moving to Chicago, she worked as a contractor for several Chicago companies, first stage managing corporate theatre productions and then as a project and logistics coordinator for customized training seminars. She came to Turpin in 2005 as a camera operator, then progressed to her Workshop Coordinator and Coach roles. Sarah managed the creation of Turpin’s eCoach.