What is the role of emotion in public speaking? We have all seen speeches that seared their audiences with emotion and were unforgettable as a result. You have probably seen speeches that were inappropriately emotional as well. Perhaps the CEO lost his temper at the wrong moment, or the VP for Marketing burst into tears like John Boehner, embarrassing everyone in the process.
There’s still a mistaken belief in the business world that emotion is inappropriate anytime, and still a lot of personal fear of showing up with emotion because business speaking in general is so bland.
Here’s the problem with bland. Recent brain research confirms that the way memory works is by attaching emotion to events. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the memory. So bland just doesn’t cut it if you want to be remembered.
Business people have to get themselves out of the trap of thinking that bland is OK. Bland is forgettable, and if you’re going to speak with the intention of being forgotten, you shouldn’t be wasting everyone’s time. Find the right emotions and make them a part of your presentations.