Again and again I hear the same assumption from some of my trainees – at least at the beginning of the seminars. We’d have a cup of coffee before we start the training session, maybe some fruit salad. Then the assumptious question hits my listening but deaf ears: What do you think, Florian, isn’t it too much what speakers do sometimes?
In Europe, with too much these people refer to the so called American style. High energy, great vocal volume, expressive body language, humor, stories, emotions – everything that makes a speaker a great speaker. And yet, they say it’s too much.
For me, it can never be too much!
I learned that in public speaking we face a gigantic discrepancy: Too much for one person is never too much for everyone else in the audience. Because every single person perceives, feels and reacts differently. Audience perception follows the bell curve.
But the real challenge comes now. People who assume that something they do or say might be too much for others automatically restrain and restrict themselves. They put on the hand brake.
No vocal variety.
No metaphorical, illustrative, symbolic or signaling gestures.
No bold statements.
No use of metaphor.
No spectacular storytelling.
The too-much-thought is a dead end street leading straight into gray monotony. And what is worse than monotony for an audience? Nothing.
Stop thinking in too-much-terms! Release the hand brake! Start to think of ways of how to say and do things differently in front of your audience. Soon you’ll realize that too much is not even close to the endless possibilities of powerful public speaking.
Enjoy your even-more-journey!