Public Speaking: The Results Are In

September 11th, 2010 by Frank Damelio

You have voted and the results are in:

 Q: Does a more animated speaker seem any less credible to you? 

 Results: While the poll is still live, at the time of this writing 97% of voters agreed that speaking with enthusiasm does not make you appear any less credible than a subdued and “serious” speaker.

If this is so, then why do so many presenters project an overly serious and subdued persona?  The reason is that any small gestures or expressions feel bigger than they are to the presenter and appears smaller than they are to the audience.

Consider a natural one-on-one friendly conversation.  Because the speaker is relaxed she will use gestures and expressions appropriately and her enthusiasm will show.  But, when she is presenting to a group those gestures and expressions need to be amplified to project  further and broader.  As she feels pressure, however, she becomes nervous and is inclined to do just the opposite.  She dulls the shine and decreases intensity.  The audience simply accepts this as another boring presentation to be endured.

The only way to overcome this challenge as a presenter is to be aware of it.  Know that your audience wants to see enthusiasm, gestures and expressions.  Our poll shows that your audience will not perceive you as goofy and less professional.  On the contrary, you will be appreciated and admired.

Next time you present, understand that if you feel like you are over gesturing and expressing, you are probably doing it just right.

Here you can read 8 great tips on gestures.

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4 Responses to “Public Speaking: The Results Are In”

  1. April Yu Says:

    Personally I enjoy listening to passionate, lively and fun public speakers. If the speaker is too serious, you feel stressed. Or on the other extreme, you dose off because you are too bored. As a public speaker, your sincerity and enthusiam is obvious to the audience. If you act up, it will be too much, especiall if the topic is relatively serious.

  2. TJ Walker Says:

    In my experience, audiences always prefer the speaker with more animation and movement, unless the movement seems awkward, contrived or done out of nervousness.

  3. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: Fact or Myth? Says:

    […] are giving a eulogy, which is bad . . . unless they really are. Your audience wants to see some personality; so don’t be afraid to be […]

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    Thanks for every other wonderful article. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such information.

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