You would be forgiven if you thought the above is a formula from a science text book! In fact what it means in the world of public speaking is that anyone who takes to the stage as a professional speaker or MC (master of ceremonies) must have E (Energy)!
An obvious point you may think – but the argument has substantial depth. As coaches to Public Speakers we are constantly asked:
- how can I develop more power?
- how do I keep audience interest?
- how can I really get buy-in?…
There are lots of answers but something that really shrouds every technique is the concept of energy.
Influence with Energy
We know that people buy in to ideas, opinions, concepts, products all because of energy – we are naturally attracted to those who display this quality. Any professional speaker worth his/her salt will talk offline about the ‘energy’ in the room – reference to the mood, the vibe, the feeling that you can sense when speaking at any gig. However seldom do Speaker’s realise that they hold the key to influence it and most importantly utilise to your advantage.
Of course we don’t know what is going through our audience members’ heads – however that should not prevent us from influencing and guiding energy to the points we want. For example – if you are wanting people to buy your product you may excite your audience through choice of words, metaphor, your increasing rhythm and tone variation. This may be mirrored by greater sense of body movement and gestures eventually culminating in a sale.
However the real question is how do you ensure your audience adopts the energy state that you want them to be in? The answer is in the concept of mirroring and matching.
An experience speaker will understand the ‘energy position’ of their audience – by observing them before they go on stage – are they bored? Tired? Excited? – regardless of their state the answer lies in the speaking matching that state of energy and skilfully guiding them through your own energy journey.
When you reflect back similar signals and expressions you build rapport and most importantly influence. Your audience feels at ease – we like things that are similar to us – including (micro expressions) displays of energy. Subtly changing will be the most influential way of drawing your audience along a different path where you are able to persuade successfully and get your message across with greater gravitas and presence.
So science does have a role in the art of public speaking after all!