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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.


Have Fun

This is the simplest, but pretty much the most important, of all the rules of speaking in public.

When I was in the band, I used to say that our audience will never get more excited about our music than we will.

For years, our band traveled the country, playing every kind of venue you can think of. We sold out at pubs and taverns, we broke attendance records in some venues, and we even had a fan club. The funny thing about this is that we werenít that good of a band! Our music was fine, but not nearly as good as many other bands. We werenít as polished as many other bands, plus we didnít have the best equipment on the planet. I believe we just werenít as talented as many other bands, but they werenít doing nearly as well as we were. So, what was our secret? We were fun!

We had more fun on that stage than any other band touring around, during that time period. We made jokes, we screwed up regularly on stage, we laughed at each other, we jumped around, and we had loads and loads of fun every single time we hit the stage, but every second of it was sincere and honest. We just loved to be in front of an audience, and it showed. The result was that we had people flocking in to come and see us play.

The exact same concept holds true for speakers. Some speakers donít seem to appreciate the magnitude of the opportunity, or the responsibility theyíve been given by being on the stage. The Spotlight is glorious, and we, as speakers, should respect it, we should savor it and most of all, we should enjoy it.

The worst thing a speaker can do to an audience is to bore them. An audience will forgive just about any mishap, any mistake, or any fumble, as long as theyíre having a good time. Thereís no way an audience is going to have a good time, if the speaker isnít also.

Iím not suggesting that you need to jump around like an idiot on the stage. We did that in the band at times, because it was fitting of the environment we were in. Iím simply suggesting that your audience will never elevate themselves beyond your emotional elevation. While youíre on stage, youíre the leader. Your audience looks to you to establish the emotional altitude.

So, whatís the lesson? Above all else, have fun. Your audience will love you for it!

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