Do you know what the Dog Whisperer and Public Speaking have in common? Have you ever attended a presentation where the speaker was all over the place? So much so that you felt really uncomfortable? Almost to the point where their overexcitement made you want to leave?
Sadly, the over-energized and unfocused speaker is often a reality. Many people, including myself, have attended a presentation where the speaker was so over-energized and unfocused that it felt almost painful to be in the same room and listen to their presentation.
Over-energized and Unfocused Speaker
There have been a couple of times when I was presenting that I didn’t feel centered before I started. I wasn’t all over the place; however my energy felt frenetic to me. I just didn’t feel like I was at my best because I was too over-energized. The audience may have not realized I was feeling this way; however I know it had an impact on them and my presentation results in some way. By the time I had finished my presentation, I was kicking myself because I know better. I wanted to bring my ‘A Game’ and I didn’t this time. Lesson Learned!
I know I am not alone. The excitement of presenting can create an unplanned and unexpected frenetic state because the adrenalin is rushing through our bodies.
Your Questions about Presenting Energy answered
I wrote this article to address a common question I get asked all the time “How much energy is too much energy when presenting?” and “Can you have too much or too little energy when speaking?” My answer to both is always “Yes!”
When I think about the ‘ideal’ presentation style, I think about Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer and the words “Calm – Assertive – Energy” which he uses on his very popular television show focused on rehabilitating difficult dog situations.
Keep in mind:
I like to think of the Assertive part as “Standing in Your Speaking Power and in no way is it aligned with Aggressive or Domineering behavior.”
So what does the Dog Whisper’s “Calm – Assertive – Energy” have to do with Public Speaking energy?
The similarity is that if the dog’s owner is ungrounded and anxious, the dog tends to be the same way and often demonstrates a similar behavior.
If the speaker is ungrounded, unfocused and anxious, the audience responds and starts to feel the same way too.
When the dog’s owner possesses Calm – Assertive – Energy, the dog’s behavior immediately aligns with the owner’s energy in a positive way.
Making the audience feel at ease
If the speaker possesses Calm – Assertive – Energy, the audience will automatically feel at ease with their presentation style and trust they will deliver the information they need to hear. Therefore, the audience will relax knowing they’re in good hands.
Ideally, you want the audience to feel comfortable around you so they open their minds up to what you are sharing.
In conclusion, your audience needs you to follow the Dog Whisperer’s formula:
The 3 Steps of the Dog Whisperer’s Formula
- Be CALM so your audience can feel calm, relaxed and open in your presence as they watch you speak.
- Be ASSERTIVE so they can expect you to deliver the information in a clear concise way so they can easily process the information you’re sharing and develop a level of trust with you as the speaker.
- Be ENERGY so they can feel your passion, commitment and enthusiasm for the content and information you are sharing with them.
So when you think about Speaking Energy, this is exactly what you need to do! The next time you’re about to present, ask yourself ; Am I acting like Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer and demonstrating CALM – ASSERTIVE – ENERGY? If you answer “YES!” …Great, you’re on the right path!
I found this great article by Richard Zeoli called ‘Seven Principles of Effective Public Speaking’. I thought you might want to read this too. You can check it out at: http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/Seven-Principles-of-Effective-Public-Speaking.aspx
Bonus Step to Immediately Shift Your State of Mind
If not, you need to implement steps immediately so you can shift your state of mind. Try deep breathing, laying off the extra coffee, exercise, meditation and/or prayer so you can center your energy before you start speaking and deliver the best presentation of your lifetime that your audience deserves.