The Importance of Enthusiasm

When it comes time to talk to the news media, or to industry analysts, you can’t afford to discount the importance of enthusiasm.

If you aren’t excited about your new product, new service, or whatever news you’re putting out there, the editor you’re talking to isn’t going to get excited, or maybe even marginally interested, when it comes time to write up your story.

Now, editors may pride themselves on not getting excited so that they can write a more-or-less objective story, but that’s just self-deception. Having been there, we can tell you that when a source was excited and told a good story, that energy was infectious, and it ended up being reflected in the news account.

But excitement does need to be kept on a leash. Too much excitement produces hype, and any editor can sense when the virtues or value of your product or service are being oversold. You come across as either insincere or deluded, neither of which are good impressions to convey.

On the other extreme, if you sound bored with the story you’re telling, it brings everybody down.

Quick story: A past client, a few years back was a wonderful guy, but he was one of those non-emotional engineer types that you see in so many technology companies. He was the company spokesman, but his delivery style was better suited to a funeral director. You couldn’t excite this guy if a team of six polka-dotted unicorns flew by him, pulling a fiery chariot driven by Nicola Tesla.

Needless to say, interviews and analyst briefings with him were somewhat painful. He was resistant to training intended to perk him up, and he eventually went on to other ventures.

So the right amount of excitement is important. We hope you are excited by what your company offers, and how, and the benefits to your customers and clients. If you are, then show it.

However, if excitement just doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t give up. Here are a few tips:

  • Vary your speaking speed and pitch. Talk faster and higher at key points in your presentation, with each instance followed by a slower pace.
  • In person, do a bit of gesturing, as it will liven you up. On the phone, stand up and move around, gesturing as needed to accomplish the same thing.
  • Keep your sentences short and don’t ramble. Concise and punchy are what you want for editors, though perhaps a bit less so for analyst briefings.