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The Power and the Passion

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Passion is an important quality in a speaker. Who wants to listen to someone who clearly does not care about their subject?

There's a difference, however, between someone who is passionate vs someone who displays exuberance, someone who displays emotion inappropriate to the occasion, someone who is over the top or even someone who appears unhinged.

Many people equate shouting with passion. They are not the same. In fact, shouting can mask authentic emotion and be an attempt to overcome faulty logic. Both valid emotion and good logic are necessary for great persuasion. Frequently, quiet passion is far more honest, more real and more impactful than trying to work up to a roar.

Many of my clients have found that they are required to present in business settings on topics that are at first glance very dry and dull. One, for example, presented at a conference for a high level scientific specialty. I won't name the specialty in order to maintain privacy. At many professional conferences - particularly scientific and academic ones - most of the speakers are very dull to listen to. Many will literally read off an academic paper they wrote. Once the audience has woken up afterwards for coffee, there's much nodding and agreeing that the 'paper they read' was very important and so on, but in reality half the audience wishes they could just get to lunch or go home. They're capable of reading for themselves, so really it would have been better to just send out the material and get straight to the food.

My client wanted to do things differently in order to draw attention to a globally significant technology and its impact. So we found what he was really passionate about in relation to the topic and focused on that as a theme. We then injected analogies, stories and humour that made points supportive to the topic or that expressed his personality and allowed him to relax and enjoy presenting. We culled down the scores of visual slides he had to a few impactful and necessary visual supports, crucial technical points and a couple of analogic slides he wanted to include for humour and impact.

I worked with this client to rehearse and improve his presentation. He went from a quiet, stilted, dull PowerPoint presenter to an engaging and interesting speaker who was able to highlight his globally significant expertise. His presentation was excitedly and warmly received, leading to significant inquiries, connections and results for him and his interests. In addition, instead of fearing and dreading the experience, he came away having enjoyed his presentation, been successful and continued to seek further opportunities that would benefit him personally and professionally.

In other words, he'd gone from a weak presenter to a powerful speaker.

Discovering, accessing and openly injecting your passion appropriately into your speaking is vital to growing as a speaker and as an influencer. Find your passion and see how it adds power to your speaking.

I help speakers find their passion as they grow as speakers and influencers. Sign up for my online Authentic Speaking(r) course or for a one-on-one coaching program.

Contact me here

(c) 2021 Peter J. McLean

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