In Fall 2018, one of my first-year college roommates (and for those of you who know me well, no, I'm not talking about my sister-in-law ... for those of you who haven't heard this story, the roommate I had during my second, third, and fourth years of college also became my sister-in-law!), celebrated the release of her first book that is a memoir as well as a tribute to the history of modern soul food.
In it, she includes stories about being in the kitchen with her grandmother, having a high school crush, and growing up in Texas with her two sisters plus over 50 recipes sure to speak to the heart and sufficiently fill the belly. In the fall of 2018, she was invited to an expo to read excerpts from her book and ended up bawling before her audience. BAWLING!
She quickly wrote me, asking if it was normal to feel overwhelmed and to full-on cry during a speaking engagement. I told her ...
Yes, getting emotional during certain speaking engagements is totally normal. In this instance, there were all kinds of emotions at play here, so a tear or two are sure to make an appearance. First book. Grandmother. Memoir. Heck … I wanna cry myself!
A certain amount of emotions is acceptable and advantageous when you present. It demonstrates you're human, and it can create a connection between you and your audience that words alone cannot as effectively create. However, there can be such a thing as too much emotion, and that is the case if any of the following happens:
So how do you keep the tears at bay when you present in front of a group? The answer is practice. (Yes … you need to practice a reading!) Notice the aforementioned three points focus on you, the audience, and the message. These three are the pillars of a presentation to which the presenter must pay great attention. During your practice, create a strategy for how you will ensure you are passionate while simultaneously and masterfully communicating your message to your audience without completely breaking down. Do that, and you're golden. Your practice has to include a plan for conveying your feelings without distracting the audience or detracting from your message.
Should you channel that sort of emotion into something more beneficial? These emotions are incredibly beneficial to your message. No need for channeling here! Those emotions are pat of you; they are who you are, and they are a mental hook that will grab your listeners. You must decide how you will show up in front of your audience, and engage in intentional and strategic practice to position you to display just the right amount of emotion to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Once you how your practice must look and how to craft a personal plan so you, your audience, and your message do not get lost in the sauce, then you'll have rock star status every time you speak.
Are you a professional woman who makes presentations as part of your job or as part of your business? Did you ever wish you could get personal and helpful guidance on improving your presentation skills? Get on the phone with me for a complimentary presentation skills analysis. It will involve only about 30 minutes of your time, and you will learn how to start making your presentations amazing once and for all! Schedule your call here. It’ll be the best 30 minutes you’ve ever spent working on your presentation skills. I guarantee it!
Photograph credit: Pixabay