Avoid Audience Burn Out!

May 11, 2015

When it comes to the art and craft of public speaking, simply getting up in front of people and talking doesn't equate to having a connection. In terms of reaching people strongly so you gain impact, much of that has to do with the flow of energy between the speaker and the audience.

 

That flow needs to be something that connects effectively so that listeners receive what the speaker wants to send out. Sometimes speakers confuse being passionate about their message with speaking at a full, blaring intensity. I was recently in the audience at a speech given by a well-respected entrepreneur who wanted to share a number of inspirational messages with the people in attendance. Her energy stayed at a sharp intensity the entire time, as if every point she was making was the most important one.

By doing that, no single point got to stand out, and after a while the sense that came over me and others in the audience was a bit of overwhelm and fatigue. After a certain time of an intense energy, the natural reaction of the mind is to somewhat (if not totally) tune out the speaker.  It's not a conscious choice, it happens naturally to protect the mind.

Though that speaker's approach may have been well intended to show commitment and passion, the energy was too intense for too long. It ended up with each point in competition with all others, rather than providing a clear sense of what the most important points were.

A strong presentation definitely does not mean keeping your voice and energy at full intensity for the entire time. Rather, a speech is helped by nuance, moments when a speaker eases up on the energetic level (but not easing up on connecting with the audience). The nuance can also include some changes in pacing, volume, pauses and so on. With that approach, the audience gets a better chance to absorb the message. After all, getting the audience to receive the message is the point of giving the speech.

So when you get a chance to speak, stay aware of the benefits of having a more rounded flow of energy behind what you say and do. Your message will become more connected as you do.

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