How Enthusiasm Can Help Your Persuasiveness

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A short post here on the power of enthusiasm to make your speaking more persuasive :-

Edward Everett, in his lecture on Daniel Webster, said that every time Daniel Webster spoke sparks of living fire were emit­ted from either eye. Marshal Foch said, “The human soul on fire is man’s greatest weapon.” And John Wesley, founder of Methodism, said, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn!”

What is the fire those men spoke of? It is enthusiasm for a cause, purpose, or subject.

Enthusiasm was derived from two Greek terms, “En Theo,” meaning “In God.” It is a quality of man’s spirit, mind, and emo­tions rather than a physical element. Francis Collins Spellman compared it with electricity. He said, “Enthusiasm is in the spiri­tual realm what electricity is in the field of the material.”

Genuine enthusiasm does electrify a personality with a high­ly persuasive, contagious emotional influence. Enveloping the entire being, this fire of the spirit lifts speakers from the ranks of the commonplace to heights of eloquence. “No man can rise to the heights of oratory unless his soul is on fire,” said Altgeld.

“The feet of the orator must walk in the’ sun and every fiber in his body must speak to the audience, not in rant, or quaver, but in the simple fervor of the patriot.”

Why did sparks of fire seem to come from Webster’s eyes when he spoke? Why could Wesley speak with such fervor at five o’clock in the morning? Or why did William Jennings Bryan willingly sleep for only three hours a night and speak twenty hours a day during his presidential campaigns? Enthusiasm for a cause is the answer. It is the same spirit that caused Mary Lyon to say, when she felt such a great need to make a college education available for women, ..”Sometimes its seems as if there was a fire shut up in my bones.” Why could she speak so eloquently and persuasively? Because she had enthusiasm for a purpose which she. considered to be as great as life itself.

What did you think? Future post will discuss the power of enthusiasm to fire up your speech.

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