Public Speaking: Enthusiasm or tone it down?

August 3rd, 2010 by Frank Damelio

What do YOU think?

While coaching a top executive on presentation skills, I commented that the enthusiasm he exhibits in one-to-one conversations was not being conveyed in his presentations to the group.  His response: “as a company leader, I need to be taken seriously; so I tend to tone it down when speaking to my group.”

Of course, if a presenter is delivering bad news, such as layoffs, a subdued style is appropriate.  In general, however, is the assumption that when one speaks with enthusiasm he or she appears less serious or businesslike?  Does a more animated speaker seem any less credible to you?  Take our poll and leave a comment below:


After weighing in, then check out this related blog entry on the cartoon factor.

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7 Responses to “Public Speaking: Enthusiasm or tone it down?”

  1. Rita Schiano Says:

    Enthusiasm = engaging the audience.

  2. Jason Kallio Says:

    Enthusiasm is infectious. I would think you’d want all of your employees to catch it. Why do people think you should drone through work? Become a Linchpin & make a difference. Life’s too short to not have fun.

  3. John Chumsae Says:

    Like all good things in life, moderation is the key. Be enthusiastic and engaged with what you are doing.

  4. April Yu Says:

    How you deliver the message impacts the audience. I prefer the speaker to be enthusiatic. If the speaker is not inspired by his own speech, it’s hard for the audience to be inspired. People tend to forget what they hear, but they remember how the speaker make them feel.

  5. James Flaherty Says:

    The coach inside me says … When speaking to large crowds, when you think you have enough enthusiasm, tweek it up a notch. The larger the crowd, the more muted you may seem.

    Overall, I agree with April most “enthusiastically”. In fact, this blog is inspiring me to write some new comedy bits. You’re right, Jason! Enthusiasm is infectious!

  6. James Flaherty Says:

    Can someone clear this up for me? On my last entry, the heading says, “James Flaherty says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.” ??? I never wrote that. How did it appear? Thanks, guys. I await your response with appropriate enthusiasm.

  7. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: The Results Are In Says:

    [...] While the poll is still live, at the time of this writing 97% of voters agreed that speaking with enthusiasm does not make you [...]

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