Have you been told that you speak in a monotone when delivering a speech or presentation? You may have been surprised to hear that description about yourself because in normal conversation you are quite animated, displaying a lot of emotion. What happens at the lectern, however, is that you lose all sense of self as you spit out a pile of words in the hopes of getting it over with as quickly as possible.

Speaking with life, with emotion, and with animation is known as color, be it at the lectern, at the head of the boardroom table, in a webinar or in a sales presentation over the phone. And, it involves not only your vocal variety but your facial expression and body language as well.

As a speaker, whether it is in a formal public speaking venue or a more casual sales presentation, it is your responsibility to make your delivery as interesting as possible. You owe that to your listeners.

Some years ago, I was attending a conference and was unfortunately confronted with a speaker who read to us for an hour and a half with no expression, no color, no life. And he did it very – very – very slowly! It was one of the worst 90 minutes of my life. Because of the gentlemen’s age and seniority among those who were speaking, as well as the seating arrangement, I was unable to exit the room.

If your delivery is leaving your audience with the desire to vacate their seats, to nap, or to check their email, then you should consider revamping your style. The truth is, speaking without color, has no style. And, if you normally are expressive in speaking, but display none of it when you address a group of people, then your nervousness definitely has the upper hand.

Instead of allowing your nervousness to be in control, consider treating your audience as if you were in your living room. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It is exactly how the best in the business handle their nervousness. They work with their nervousness and appreciate the edge that it gives them. In the process, they are able to talk to you – not at you – in which they exude passion, color, life.

In my next article, entitled 3 Ways to Be More Expressive in Public Speaking, I will show you how to allow your passion and enthusiasm to be seen and heard.

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