Too often we forget the true objective of making a speech or giving a presentation. It’s to make your audience feel something – happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, amusement, hope, interest… any emotion you want to linger in their minds long after you’ve left the stage.
Too often we give our audiences a data dump. Lots of facts, masses of information. We’re so busy sharing information, we forget how emotion helps us deliver the more valuable commodities of insight and involvement.
I leaned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – (Maya Angelou, author, poet)
Now I’m not suggesting you never use facts and figures in your speeches.
Some of our clients are in information-heavy industries. They need to share some facts and figures. But be strategic. Don’t drown your audience in a deluge of data.
Figure out the emotional impact of your core message… the feeling you want the information to produce. Then strategically build the presentation to draw out that emotion.
- Enveloping facts in a story one easy way to do that.
- Delivering the facts with passion, rather than in a managerial monotone, will help to focus the audience on the emotional thrust of the presentation.
Companies, Nike, Apple, Budweiser, Coca Cola, have been using emotions to market their products successfully for ages. You can do the same with your speech or presentation.
A speech or presentation is a bad place to deliver a mass of facts.
If a lot of statistics are important, share them in a handout or email before or after the presentation. Use the presentation to get the audience invested emotionally in the subject.
Halina St James takes the worry out of presentations with her Present Like a Pro video training course. It’s available now from the Podium Coaching online store, together with her popular TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers e-book and workbook.