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  • Writer's pictureYasmine El-Baz

Top 4 Energy Drainers In Public Speaking And How To Deal With Them

You might assume that only stress could prevent receiving a standing ovation from your audience, but as a matter of fact, bored speakers or those who are out of energy are perceived to be worse than stressed speakers. The audience does expect speakers to be a bit stressed but it’s somehow disrespectful to show a lack of interest or boredom while delivering your presentation/speech.

Below are the top 4 energy drainers in public speaking and how to deal with them:

1) Content type and structure:

Most people don’t know this but the top energy drainer in public speaking is the type of content you choose to present. I always say that the content is the king in presentations and speeches, it can either bring up your best performance or your worst. Take another look at your content and ask yourself:

  • Am I excited to deliver this?

  • Is it just the opening that’s good or did I add some interesting points all over the speech as well?

  • Does it bring up my emotions and can trigger the audience’s emotions?

  • Have I included ways of engaging the audience to maintain the energy levels all over the content?

Such questions are a good start to reviewing how you built your content and will help you construct a much stronger and more interesting one, for your audience of course and also for yourself.

2) When it’s the manager’s order or when it’s not your idea:

Okay, I get it. There’s a great difference between choosing to present something of your choice and being asked to deliver something specific. But let’s put all that aside and think of this:

  • Why did your manager ask you specifically to deliver that presentation and not another colleague? Does this mean he trusts your skills and experience?

  • What are the objectives for the company and the team? Will your role in that presentation help them achieve a big goal?

  • Is this a new opportunity to present a more challenging topic or in front of a new type of audience?

Why do these questions matter? Because firstly when you’re asked to deliver a presentation on behalf of the company or the team, it’s of no doubt a sign of trust in your skills and abilities. Secondly because when we call a person to be an experienced public speaker, we don’t just mean a person who has been on stage a lot, NO, we mean a person who has been subjected to many types of speaking engagements, spoke in front of a large variety of audiences and in multiple different speaking situations, that it becomes rare that he would face something that’s completely new. This means that the more the opportunity is challenging and new, the more your public speaking skills are getting sharpened. Take these chances as opportunities for growth and try setting new objectives for yourself like for example:

  • Can this be a chance to showcase non-technical skills such as being a team player, strategic thinker, or with strong analytical skills?

  • Can I add examples or facts that add spirit to the content and highlight my knowledge?

  • Can it be an opportunity to expand my network?

3) Difficult Audience:

This is a hard one indeed. The way our audience react is of high influence on our performance, and not getting the reaction we aimed for is a huge energy drainer. The issue here is in your “expectations”, the only type of audience that I personally perceive as difficult is the audience who have personal issues with you, other than that they are just people with different views, personalities, backgrounds, and ways of expression. So, expecting them to react in a certain way, is illogical.

The first step to avoid this from draining your energy is to accept the fact that people are different and have all the right to doubt or object your idea. Start your preparation by acknowledging this, then start doubting all the aspects of your idea and research different perspectives and views till you build a solid persuasive concept that can be speaking not only to your audience's needs but also their concerns. And despite all this, your audience still has all the right to have more concerns and it’s your role to respectfully reply to them and calm down their worries.

4) Procrastinating:

This is an unexpected one I know, but it has a huge influence on your energy levels. The longer you delay your preparation for your upcoming presentation/speech the more it takes up your headspace and then becomes anxiety that gets in the way of you enjoying delivering it. Don’t push it away, try putting more enjoyable stuff in the preparation phase, like watching videos about the topic, sharing the idea with a friend, imagining it as a comic story then drawing it down, rehearse while picturing yourself rocking the meeting room while speaking up your heart out or put small rewards for yourself each time you finish preparing for a part. These are things that can help you enjoy the process because simple starting NOW will add a lot to both your energy levels and confidence.

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