Most presenters are concerned about how their audiences perceive them. They think that being formal will make them look professional, but they’re missing one key element in engaging audiences: emotion.
Since it links people together, your goal is to move them to action through their emotions.
Presenting facts isn’t enough to successfully convey your message to your audience. You also have to meet their emotional needs to fully get their attention.
What They Show
What you project to your audience displays your true self.
Your personality plays a vital role in creating audience engagement. You can’t fully convince them to listen without catching their interest in some way.
While facts and figures are significant in any sales presentations or public speeches, how your audience feels still matters. According to Tony Carlson, “A memorable speech rests on the quality of the connection between the speaker and the audience.”
Consider these three facts when introducing your proposal:
1. Emotions Make Us Human
Whether you’re looking at your notes or making eye contact with your clients, make sure to relate to the audience at all times.
Build connection by making them feel that you, too, are a human being who can be happy, sad or serious.
2. Emotions Help Us Remember
Tell stories that appeal to their emotions. This makes them recall your message and encourages them to take action.
Share your own experiences or mention other examples that are related to your topic. Details become easier to remember through an emotional connection.
3. Emotions Inspire Us to Act
Once you get them to feel your emotions, convince them to take action.
If you introduce a certain issue that affects them, they’ll see a need to resolve it. Doing so motivates them to not just ignore it.
How to Display Emotions
When showing your emotions, use the right words, voice, body gestures and facial expression to balance the way you speak and act in front of a crowd.
Imagine yourself presenting with enthusiasm, yet with a neutral face and stiff posture. It’ll come across as unnatural and confusing.
A combination of these various factors reveals what you really feel inside. If you lack passion, or if you’re not in the mood, it’ll show.
1. Use Emotions Occasionally
Don’t overdo it. Be mindful when to stir your audience’s emotions to avoid losing your presentation’s impact.
Utilize emotions based on your topic. Learn how to insert these in-between your message’s section.
2. Combine Positive Emotions with Negative
Be dynamic in your presentation. Always follow negativity with positive mentions to establish a balance people’s emotions.
3. End on a Positive Note
Don’t assume that your audience will feel better without ending your presentation positively.
If you start giving your main points with an intention to make them feel bad, finish it with a positive assurance which helps them recall both you and your message.
Understanding how emotions are important in your presentation helps you use, handle and manage them accordingly.
This motivates your audience to listen, learn and recall your message even after your presentation.
Carlson, Tony. The How of WOW: A Guide to Giving a Speech That Will Positively Blow ’em Away. New York: American Management Association, 2005. Print.
Davis, Keith. “Facts tell… emotions sell.” Easy Public Speaking. October 3, 2010. Accessed May 21, 2015. http://easypublicspeaking.co.uk/using-emotions-in-speeches-and-presentations