Presentation Tip #53: Passion

Add passion to your presentation to be more effective.


1. Passion can help energize you to prepare and deliver your presentation - especially if you need to deliver your message repeatedly or to challenging audiences.

2. Passion as perceived by your audience can help engage and persuade them. You need to use emotion to persuade and passion can be a window to display your emotion.

3. Passion can be infectious. Your audience might ignite their own passion for your cause if you have connected in the right way. (We'll examine the connecting factors in the next tip.)

A client asked me to help her convey more passion in her business presentations. After meeting with her I realized that she was clearly passionate about her work and role. But she was not comfortable conveying that passion in her presentations. I believe that she was confusing loud passion with quiet passion.

There seems to be two diverse forms of conveyed passion. Loud passion and quiet passion. Neither is right nor wrong. And there are combinations and shades of gray.

Loud Passion

Loud passion is the most easily recognized form. Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins illustrates an extreme of this form. He bounds onto the stage only after a rising roar from the audience of "Tony! Tony!! Tony!!!" His voice bellows over the sound system. He goads the audience into repeating his mantras and bullies them into standing and performing jumping jacks.

Clearly a passionate speaker. And loud!

You can recognize loud passion in a speaker by a combination of these signs:

Loud voice
Big energetic body movements
Large hand gestures
Simple words repeated as mantras
Seeks and encourages verbal and physical responses from audience
Encourages laughter, cheers and audience participation

Quiet Passion

You might need to look closer for quite passion. When you see it you will recognize it and value it as well. Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa demonstrate quiet passion with their thoughtful words and dedication. Abe Lincoln's delivery of the Gettysburg address was memorable for the quiet passion.

You can identify quiet passion in a speaker by a combination of these signs:

Soft steady calm and firm voice
Long pauses
Bold and confident eye contact
Facial gestures instead of body movement
Thoughtful words, phrases and ideas
Compelling and colorful stories
Observes the non-verbal cues from the audience
Expresses confident well placed smiles

Loud or quiet? It depends on the individual, situation and audience. You might employ a variation of loud and quiet techniques to convey your passion. You might also change your style based on the situation.

Passion can persuade and inspire your audience. There is more than one way to express your passion. Express it.

George Torok
PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

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