We often think that a good speaker is someone who is confident. Someone who speaks to a large group of people without having nerves, makes strong gestures and emphasizes the right words. These skills are impressive and help to convey your message clearly and powerfully. However, there is one thing that turns out to be more important than confidence or presentation skills; enthusiasm. Below you can read why.
1. Confidence is about you, enthusiasm is about your story
When you focus too much on self-confidence and suppressing your nerves, you draw attention to yourself. You then put pressure on yourself to stand in front of the group in a certain way and you tend to start doubting yourself and your abilities. By focusing on the message you want to convey and thinking about what you find important or inspiring about the message, you will automatically show your enthusiasm. You then speak with more energy and conviction and use powerful gestures without having to think about it. Therefore your audience also focuses on your story and less on the way you stand in front of the group.
2. Confidence revolves around you, enthusiasm revolves around the other
When you are enthusiastic about your message, you want others to understand it and share your enthusiasm. You more easily shift the focus from yourself to your audience and the feedback your audience gives you. You check continuously; how does the message arrive? Ae they interested, have they understood you? What else can you do to captivate them and include them in your story? By paying attention to your audience, you can engage them and provide a better and more enjoyable experience.
3. Confidence is admirable, enthusiasm is contagious
As a speaker you can drain the energy of your audience or you give them energy. When you tell with energy and enthusiasm, it influences your body language, your appearance, your voice and way of speaking. Your audience then takes over your energy and enthusiasm; because emotions are ‘contagious’. This makes the audience hang on your every word and they have a positive and inspired feeling at the end of your story.
A final plus of enthusiasm is that it obscures your nerves. Enthusiastic speakers are perceived by the audience as less nervous and more confident . So start your next presentation with your ‘why’; what makes you excited?
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