October 16, 2013 | By Rachel Hankey |
Energy: Synonyms: – Vigor, force, potency, zeal, push.
Other meanings: Life force. Capacity or tendency for intense activity
Why does it matter? If you are giving a speech, who cares if you can intersperse it with a record breaking amount of star jumps? You might impress some but mostly you will bewilder your audience. They will either think you’re an annoying show off or simply really bad at time management, having to pack in a work out at work.
Think of energy in terms of a force within you that is transferable. In the context of interactions, you want to harness it and utilise it in a way that is exciting, contagious and inspiring.
Think of energy in terms of the feelings you create for the people you talk to.
Great. How do you do that then?
Initially you have to inspire a positive vibe within yourself. Difficult if you are a naturally dour individual but here’s the thing. Giving a speech is a job you have committed to. Even if you later regret making such a promise, it’s out there and it needs dealing with. Like any role, preparation can make all the difference.
Feeling comfortable with what you’re wearing is important. If you believe you look good, you are more likely to believe your audience will see that too. That will elevate your confidence and self-belief. It’s not always about what you wear; you can give a brilliant, thought-provoking speech in a tracksuit. It’s about how you perform. Until you become accomplished, use every prop available to help you feel ‘propped up’.
If you have to talk about something that doesn’t inspire you, find inspiring ways of delivering it. If appropriate, drop in humorous anecdotes, or interesting statistics. Smile and tilt your head at times. Look out at who you are talking to. You can’t transfer energy without looking for a connection. Look like you care about the information you are delivering.
How do you sound when you speak? Does your face match your words? Do you widen your eyes when you express something surprising? In effect you are a story teller. Consider how your tone, pitch, pace and volume contributes to your delivery. Practise and record yourself? Most people have a webcam. Be as bold and over the top as you like. It’s not until you really see your own extremes you can know what you are capable of and what feels right and wrong.
Whilst most people don’t like watching themselves back or listening to their own voice (okay so we all know people who don’t have this problem) it’s really beneficial. You are probably quite familiar with the ‘inside’ you but the ‘outside’ you could be a relative stranger.
Don’t worry; once you get over the initial cringe festival you can learn valuable stuff about yourself. Do you look friendly? Do you sound interested? Do you speak so quickly you sound like you’re late for an appointment?
Before your speech, take slow, deep breaths; hold your head up high. Smile and believe in yourself. Remember, positive thinking is the right food for a good mood.