Speaking With Emotion

A Key Element For Connecting To Your Audience

speaking with emotionA great speaker or presenter is much more than the words he or she delivers. It is the way the words are conveyed. In other articles, we talk about body movement, cadence, vocal variety and tone. In this post, we will look at techniques you can use to speak with emotion and engage your audience at a deeper level.

Why Is Speaking With Emotion Important?

As we’ve discussed in other articles, how you say what you say is 8 times more important to your audience than what you say. Authentic and appropriate emotions will help connect you to the listeners. They will not only hear what you say, but they will also feel it.

When a group feels the passion of your message, they are much more likely to buy what you are selling, agree with your message and remember your talk. If that matters to you, read on and learn.

What Emotions Do I Need To Convey?

The actual feelings you want to impart will vary based on the message. Here are a few examples.

speaking with emotion excitementExcitement: If you are trying to get someone to buy a product or message or fund your dream project, letting people feel your passion and excitement is critical.

Happiness: Perhaps you have been asked to speak at a wedding or anniversary. Don’t you want the person/s you are honoring to know how happy you are for them?

Confidence: If you are presenting your pitch deck, trying to get someone to buy your service or letting someone know they are in good hands, genuine, non-ego based confidence is an asset.

Sympathy, Vulnerability: Letting people know you have compassion, that you are a kind human goes a long way in building rapport.

How Do I Decide What Emotions To Convey?

Personally, I start with the script or outline created for my talk. I read through the presentation and markup the script with notes about what I want the audience to feel at different times.

At the beginning of a talk, what emotions do you want your group to feel? A motivational speaker may want to engage with excitement from the start, a salesperson may want the listeners to like and trust him or her. A person giving a toast could want the audience to know the speaker cares, has compassion. What do you want your group to feel about you? Begin there.

Look for areas in your talk that will be enhanced by specific and authentic emotional feelings. Note those in your script so when you practice you can add them to the message.

How Do I Practice Conveying Emotions?

speak with more emotionThere are lots of ways to practice speaking with emotion. Here are a few ideas.

Think of a time when you felt the emotion you want to convey. Let’s say you want to express excitement. Think of a time you were really excited. Maybe you scored the winning goal, caught the epic wave, killed it on the slopes, met the most amazing man or woman, got your college acceptance letter.

Close your eyes and relive that moment. Add passion to the mental picture. Now, read the lines from your talk where you want to express excitement. I promise you, just doing this simple exercise will help.

If you want to dig deeper and add more skills, you can also learn acting skills online. Below are links to some sites that will add to your knowledge and make you a better, more effective speaker.

Speaking With Emotion – Conclusion

Learning how to add vibrancy to your talk by expressing your feelings will take you to a new level. There is no magic bullet though. Like anything, it takes learning and practice. Yet, isn’t that what life is really about. Some people sit on the couch and wish. Others, like you, do what it takes to be the best. Life is not the place to play small.

Gene Urban… your presentation coach
Serving Santa Barbara and the Central Coast