What can you do when you really don’t want to give that important presentation or speak up at a meeting? You know the opportunity is an important one for you and your team or organization. Yet, your normal pizazz has left you with only the zzzzs!
As part of our series on the Five Biggest Speaking Mistakes That Leaders Make, the fourth is not energizing the audience. (For the previous mistakes, see my previous blogs for Speaking Mistakes #1, #2, and #3)
As humans, we are not “up” all the time. Try not to beat up on yourself for how you are feeling. I do recommend, however, that you seek energy raising solutions that are legal, moral and not too fattening!
One strategy I find it helpful to focus on what the possible outcome could be if I do a good job of delivering my message. Whether it’s landing new business, opening people’s minds to a new vision, or a chance to help resolve a vexing issue, I know I’ll feel good about the result. That positive thought alone often helps recharge a weary body or mind.
Another tactic when your energy level isn’t firing on all burners is to recraft your presentation with more questions posed to those in the room, in other words, build in more audience interaction. “What experience have you had with X?” “How do you think that Y would impact your organization?” Yes, I recognize it takes energy to revise a presentation! At the same time, you don’t want to come across as disinterested or unprepared, right? Thinking about and then selecting powerful questions to ask will divert attention from you and your sub-par energy level to the audience, and everybody wins.
How you rehearse can also play a role in helping you ratchet up your energy level and improve your overall delivery. I have found that assigning a different color to each major point in a presentation as you practice – and tying that to a specific emotional state, such as yellow for excited, blue for thoughtful, green for concerned, purple for frustrated, or red for angry – can lift your spirits and promote your energy level.
How do you get yourself fired up when needed? Please let me know.
Want your next presentation or speech to go better than ever? I invite you to watch my video, a live recording of “How to Avoid the Five Biggest Speaking Mistakes That Leaders Make,” presented to the Florida International Bankers Association – FIBA Chats recently in Miami. Just click here.