Too Much Emotion in Public Speaking Just As Bad As Too Little

Posted on Posted in Public Speaking, Uncategorized

There is a woman who markets herself as one who teaches others how to use video for their websites. She has made numerous videos about her topic which are found on popular video websites. What is unfortunate about her delivery is that she displays so much emotion in her voice and facial expression, she sounds silly. I have met this woman personally and found her to be less than colorful in conversation which is why I was so surprised when I later viewed her videos.

Being overly expressive is akin to acting; it is a performance. Videoing yourself for your business website should not be a performance: it should be you speaking to the camera just as if you were talking to your colleagues or prospective clients.

So where do we draw the line when it comes to color? I want you to ‘straddle the fence.’ Not too much nor too little. And, the best way to gauge the amount of color you express is to video-record yourself in a practice session. Study the playback. Listen to your voice and watch your facial expression and body language. Do you express enough emotion, too much emotion, or is it just right? Most people will find that the amount of expression they exhibit is either too little or the right amount. It is not as common to find those who speak with too much color.

If you do indeed fall into the latter group, I suggest that you record yourself in a normal conversation. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but after a minute or two, you will forget the camera is on. When you are finished, watch the video. Chances are good that you will see that you are probably using good facial expression, body language and vocal variety. If this is the case, then practice your material, whether it is for the purposes of public speaking, webinars, or business videos, just as if you were having a conversation in your living room.

One man with whom I worked thought it would not sound natural if he delivered his presentation as if he were talking to his wife. However, when he later watched the video of himself, he was amazed at just how ‘normal’ he sounded. Not over the fence nor under it.

When it comes to expressive speaking, straddling the fence should be your goal. Don’t frighten prospective clients away with so much emotion that it sounds fake or phony.

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only complete video training program on voice improvement.