This statement is one of the best I have found on enthusiasm: “Light yourself with the fire of enthusiasm and people will stand in line to watch you burn.” No matter the topic or activity, the person who shows enthusiasm is irresistible. Always be enthusiastic about what you say in a speech.

As I often say in speeches, the last four letters of the word “enthusiasm” stand for what is important in communicating your passion for your subject: “I am sold myself.”

Most people are enthusiastic about something. One place where I worked made me fear for my safety near the time clock at quitting time—I could get run over as people enthusiastically hurried to punch the clock to leave work.

The key to a successful speech is to be enthusiastic about your content.

Are you enthusiastic about the topics you speak about?  Does it show?  In Where the Game Matters Most, William Gildea writes about kids’ enthusiasm for basketball in Indiana: “The game is still played in barns. It’s played on driveways, at playgrounds, in alleys. Indiana’s beacon remains the outdoor basketball hoop.” 

To get the most out of your next presentation, be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is generated by having ideas and examples in your speech about which you get excited. As the old caution goes, “Be fired with enthusiasm or you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”

Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at steveboyd111@gmail.com.

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