Enthusiasm is vital. Audience studies show that we view enthusiastic speakers as much more believable than less enthusiastic (but more knowledgeable) people. Your enthusiasm level dramatically affects your credibility, in fact as much as 25% of your believability comes from being enthusiastic.
One of the most important things we do to show how enthusiastic we are about something is movement. When we are static we show boredom and lack of interest. Whenever we are interested we are physically active. This means that whenever you are communicating you should move. Static presenters and speech givers are never as highly believed as people who move around the platform. Don’t move too much though – otherwise you look rather manic. Instead, move at a steady pace and relate your movements to your speech. For instance, walk from one side of the room to the other – make a point while standing still, then only move again when your ‘text’ is not quite so dramatic or important. Don’t pace up and down!
An important aspect of enthusiasm is when things have gone wrong. You need to be extra enthusiastic when you are dealing with problems. But don’t be enthusiastic about the problem – be enthusiastic about the solution.
Practical steps you can take
1. Give examples that you have been personally involved with – when you talk about personal experiences you are much more enthusiastic, naturally, so you don’t have to work at it.
2. Get some exercise before you have to deliver your message – you will be feeling much more positive and bright after a brisk walk, for instance. This will help you feel and therefore appear more enthusiastic.
3. Visualise success – have a picture in your mind of the end game. If you know exactly what is going to happen after your message delivery you will be much more enthusiastic.