Speaking is theater but many speakers are afraid they'll look “theatrical” or “over-the-top.”

They hold themselves back and stay in the dynamic “safe zone.”

And it's true that we're likely to deliver a bigger on a stage than we would in a room.

So think of the degree to which you're comfortable being theatrical as a sort of speaking fee.

If you ask for a small fee, there's no way you can negotiate upward.

But if you ask for a big fee, you can always find ways to offer compromises that justify that fee or lower it.

In the same way, it makes sense to rehearse your speech with bold changes in , , , intensity, etc. If you're comfortable giving a big , it will be easy to dial it down for a smaller venue or a more conservative audience.

But what happens if you rehearse small?

Try to negotiate upward.

Good luck with that.

When you bring a small talk to the big stage, do you think you'll be able to spontaneously summon up an exciting, dynamic delivery?

Sadly, that's the easiest way to look “theatrical” or “over-the-top.”

Great don't look like they're , and great speakers don't either.

Practice big and negotiate down as you need to.

You'll be glad you did and so will your audience, whether they fill a stadium or just the seat across from yours.