“Confidence” and “Energy” are the last two pieces of the PACE pie, and we’re bundling them together because they work together like yin and yang.
These external components come together to determine what your delivery will look like.
Confidence has to do more with how you carry yourself. Standing straight, looking your audience in the eye; it’s all of these pieces of how you compose yourself as a speaker that come together to give the impression of confidence – or lack thereof.
Albert Mehrabian uncovered some pretty astounding figures about how much our physical delivery has to do with how we are perceived in his book “Decoding of Inconsistent Communications.” Roughly 55% of peoples’ impression of you is visual, and that’s not just the first impression – that’s their overall impression. Only 38% is how you speak, and a mere 7% is the words you use. Wow.
So even if you are checking off all of the boxes with “Authenticity” and “Purpose,” you are likely to still fall flat if you don’t exude confidence. The most famous example of this is the televised Nixon versus Kennedy debate. Because Nixon came across as so much less confident than the charismatic Kennedy, everyone watching on television assumed he had lost. But those listening on the radio gave it to Nixon.
You can have a speaker that seems confident, but is really boring (anyone remember that less than captivating teacher from “Ferris Bueller’s day off”?), and that’s where energy comes in. The energy you bring to your speech keeps the audience on their toes by adding a variety of inflections. While you’re grounded in that confidence, you’re animated with energy.
Energy can seem to be one of those intangible qualities, but there are some very tangible ways that you can exude energy.
- Intentional Movement: Use the space you have – be that a stage or the front of a conference room – while using gestures to emphasize your points, and connect individually with your audience.
- Facial Expressions: Allow your face to be relaxed so you can best reflect your emotions. And it never hurts to smile!
- Vocal Variety: You’ve heard the saying that variety is the spice of life, and nowhere is that more true than in your vocal range. Vary your volume, rate, and pitch to punctuate points and add color to your speech. And don’t rush through your points. Be sure to use pauses at the end of each point to let it sink in.
Now you’re ready to speak with confidence and energy, purpose and authenticity!