The speaker walks to the lectern, sets down his or her papers, looks up and says, “Thank you very much—I’m very excited to be here.”
But the majority of the time, the speaker utters that line without any discernible excitement. They’re saying that they’re happy to be there, but their voice and body language sends the exact opposite message.
When I mention that to our trainees after a practice speech, they’re usually surprised. They thought they had delivered the line well. I suspect that their nervousness restrained them, that their internal adrenaline rush deceived them into thinking that they were coming across more energetically.
That type of “message disconnect” is problematic because when you send your audience one message with your words and another with your voice and body language, the audience isn’t going to believe your words.
It’s not just “I’m very excited” that gets speakers in trouble; it’s any similar line, such as: