Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Importance of Enthusiasm

Put Enthusiasm Into Your Work” - Dale Carnegie

I had spent almost a week preparing a presentation about my role as a learning technology coach is and how I could help support teachers. The elementary principal agreed to let me come in to talk to the team during their weekly meeting and I spent more time than I would care to admit putting together a presentation.

The morning of the presentation I was listening to a podcast about giving presentations and the advice was don't use images from Google Image Search. I don't have many pictures from my new school, so I had filled my presentation with Creative Commons images, but since I feel the same, I took the message of the podcast to heart and stripped out all my images during the school day.

At the meeting, I looked around the room at the elementary teachers and I did not see any energy. I was not feeling good about my presentation anymore either. Then I made my mistake, and one that I will try to not make again, I matched the energy of the room and spoke without slides.

Big Mistake

I fell as flat as the room's energy, and my message was not even remotely received. I had been afraid of coming off as fake or annoying, but worse, I  didn't come off as anything at all.

I did not inject my message with enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm and confidence are linked. They both come from within. Since I did not speak with the enthusiasm I have for the topic, I did not have the confidence while speaking that I could have had.

My presentation

If I had used my original presentation, and spoken with enthusiasm, I think I could have garnered some interest from the teachers. If I don't speak with enthusiasm for a topic I am passionate about, why would anyone else be excited to receive my message?

From now on, I will do my best to put enthusiasm into everything I do because who else will be enthusiastic about what I do?

This post was inspired by Episode 12 of the Carnegie Coach Podcast - Put Enthusiasm into Your Work.


  1. You couldn't have timed this post any better! I did a PD this last Monday and it was a struggle to keep up even the little energy that I did have in a silent room full of crickets... now I'm glad that I infused my presentation with even a little enthusiasm over none!

  2. Hi Thomas

    Thanks for your honest sharing. It's not easy to talk about our failures publicly. You're doing just fine :)

    Sometimes you just have to go with what your heart feels, instead of trying to follow all the rules that you "think" will make it great (because "so and so" told you that it's "better" this way). At some point, you have to stop worrying what other people think and what the rules are---and live your life---and let the naysayers have their say. It took me many years in my life (I'm in my 40s now) to realize that there will always be people who want to talk you "down" and there will always be people who will build you up. No amount of striving on your part is going to change the "downers", so might as well go with who you are. Hopefully you also have a crowd of supporters that love you unconditionally. Focus on them, talk to them, and work your heart out for them. This is the advice that I give my own kids and it's not easy.

    1. Thanks for writing and sharing your experience! We've all been there. :-) One thing that I have also learned is to have turn and talk or table talk questions in my pocket to get the group talking and sharing (on whatever the presentation goal is) early in the process. Even quiet and seemingly unenthusiastic groups perk up when they are talking, learning, and sharing together.

      I used to think I needed to have prepped amazing TED-like talks to present or conduct effective PD. I've discovered that most of the wisdom is already in the room and my job is to facilitate and get it out, usually with a couple of thought-provoking questions. I spend as much time crafting questions now as I do creating my presentation. I bet your teachers have lots of *ideas, hopes, wishes* for you new role. I look forward to reading more of your posts!