The role of emotion in public speaking
Emotion – is it a good thing or a bad thing? For many years, people struggled to keep it out of business, thinking that to be emotional showed weakness, or indecision, or lack of judgment, or something equally damning. Today, attitudes have shifted, and we now recognize the importance of emotion in motivation, in communications, and in leadership. Indeed, we’ve learned from brain research that without emotion there is no memory. So it is literally true that if you want someone to remember you, or your ideas, or your pitch – you have to be emotional.
Emotion and politics
So aware are the politicians of the importance of emotion that they’ve taken all the thinking out of their speeches, leaving us only with emotion. In this piece, Nick analyzes the recent American political conventions for the role of rhetoric and emotion in our public life.
Why is emotion important?
There’s still a lot of personal fear of showing up with emotion in a business setting. We’re afraid of being judged if we show emotion, and that fear spills over into business speaking. As a result, business speaking in general is bland – and instantly forgettable.
So business people have to get themselves out of the trap of thinking that bland is OK. If you’re going to speak with the intention of being bland and therefore forgotten, just don’t do it! You shouldn’t be wasting everyone’s time.
Find the right emotions and make them a part of your presentations. We have all seen speeches that seared their audiences with emotion and were unforgettable as a result.
Ready to get started? Here are 3 pieces to help you find the right emotional element for your speech.
How much emotion is too much in a public speech?
And then there are the speeches and presentations that go too far. Often they’re funny; sometimes they’re cringe-inducing. Here’s how to avoid inappropriate emotion.
How do you deliver a speech with passion?
It’s not enough to write a good speech with emotion. You also have to deliver it with that passion. And it’s a really good idea to practice in a safe space beforehand, so that you can find the right pitch. That’s right, you need to rehearse the emotional journey you want to take the audience on.
How does emotion affect your body language?
Emotion is mostly expressed through body language. Here are 3 pieces that give you quick insights into how body language works.
Always tell an emotional truth
Finally, what do you do if you have to give a speech on something that you’re not entirely enthusiastic about? Make sure you tell an emotional truth. Here’s a short video that talks about this important piece of the emotional puzzle.