Galileo is credited as saying "Passion, the genesis of genius." How true! Passion is a driving force and it's the essential foundation for being a confident and persuasive speaker.
When you think about passion in a presentation, you normally and generally think of only being passionate about your topic, but your topic is only one piece of a three prong approach. Each one of the three is vitally important. And being passionate about each one builds upon the other.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” “Enthusiasm” derives from the ancient Greek word, “enthousiasme,” which ultimately comes from the adjective, “entheos” meaning God within. When you are enthused about something or passionate about something, it’s really a “God thing.” It’s something that inspires you and that translates to your audience.
Steve Jobs was passionate about technology; and, you could say that he was even more passionate about how technology could impact and alter people’s lives. Real impact comes from being passionate about the difference you are making for people.
You can easily see that passion is a driving force. Passion about your topic will drive you to develop valuable content that’s relevant and interesting. Passion causes you to strive for more, to be better, to improve. Passion about your topic will cause you to have the best content you can have, to prepare in advance and to practice. Let’s face it, without passion, without caring, you’ll wing it and that would not be a good idea! Rambling and not staying focused are hallmarks of winging it. This pours water on your passion.
Being passionate about the difference and the value you are providing for your audience is a hallmark for confident speakers. It’s key then to be passionate about your topic and your audience and to use that passion to prepare. When preparing a presentation, ask yourself these questions: How will my presentation alter the lives of my audience? How will it make their lives better? What value will it provide for them? What does the audience want? What need am I going to fill for them?
Once you have answered these questions, make those answers your objective – to meet the needs and wants of the audience. Share your objective with your audience in your introduction and in your close. And, if you don’t know what they want or need, you’d better find out. Develop a passion for your audience and let it drive you to give them value. They will love you for it. This quote by Luciano Pavarotti sums it up perfectly, “Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience.”
The more that you work on your presentation and what your audience wants, the more inspired you will become which will feed your passion. And look at what it is about your topic that really inspires you. That inspiration is what you want to convey to your audience. Inspiration and passion go hand in hand.
Thirdly, by being passionate about improving your speaking skills, you will naturally become a more confident speaker. We are unlimited in our ability to improve, to get better, because each of us is a creative being. We can always add to. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to grow and create and to become more skilled, getting better and better.
Top athletes and musicians continue to improve because they are passionate about their craft, they are passionate about their art, and so they continually work to improve their skills even though they are already at the top! Being passionate about improving your speaking skills means learning, practicing and reviewing the fundamentals of effective presentation skills. The fundamentals include knowledge (power) about your topic, audience and speaking skills (like how to connect with your audience), preparation, and practice. And, now you have the 4 P’s: Passion, Power (Knowledge), Preparation, and Practice.
When you begin with passion about your topic, audience, and speaking skills, you lay a solid foundation from which to build your confidence and master your skills.