May 22, 2007

When speaking is exhausting

In a recent seminar, I had an audience member tell me that she gets exhausted from public speaking, and she wondered if I had any suggestions.

My first thought was "That's great! I get exhausted, too!" Speaking is exhausting for me because I give 100% to my audience. I dig deep and give them all the energy I can tap into. In return, they give me energy back. We connect, we communicate, and we feed off of each other. When this kind of exchange is happening, there's (almost) nothing better in the world!

A client I saw today, a wedding minister, told me that she was tired and not really motivated for our session (videotaping her practice wedding ceremony), and she had almost called to reschedule. I reminded her that she wasn't going to feel up for every single ceremony, but that she was going to have to give 100% anyway, because that's what her clients expect of her. Why not build that into the practice?

Yes, public speaking is exhausting. What suggestions do I have for dealing with that? I suggest that you try not to schedule too many presentations back-to-back and that you allow yourself time to rest after speaking and in between presentations, especially to rest your voice.

After a presentation I'm beat, but my adrenaline is still high. By the time I get home from an event, though, I'm ready to crash. If you're giving it all you've got, there's nothing wrong with being tired after a presentation, and it's a "good tired." You'll hear athletes talk about "leaving it all on the field," and this is the same concept.

As Tom Peters said above, ""If I ever finish a speech and I can still stand up, then it was a lousy speech."

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that public speaking is exhausting. But if some of the rules are followed then it can be a rewarding experience.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for posting! I think it's pretty clear from my post that I find public speaking to be a rewarding experience! Can you expand more on what rules you're referring to?

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