Using Emotion For Powerful Presentations

As consumers, people are hardly strangers to emotional appeal, and there’s little doubt that they’re prepared to respond emotionally to a presentation. So why aren’t presentations more emotional? The answer is, it’s an uncomfortable style for presenters, and especially for analytical professionals. At work, most people think, “They’re not paying me to feel, they’re paying me to do.” Of course that’s true. But if you can’t motivate your team to move forward or convince your customers to buy, then you are in trouble.

Including emotion in a presentation doesn’t mean it should be half fact and half emotion. It also doesn’t mean there should be boxes of tissue under each seat. It simply means that you introduce humanness that appeals to the desires of the audience. It’s not that difficult to evoke a visceral reaction in an audience if you use stories. 

The public is composed of numerous groups that cry out to us: ‘Comfort me.’ ‘Amuse me.’ ‘Touch my sympathies.’ ‘Make me sad.’ ‘Make me dream.’ ‘Make me laugh.’ ‘Make me shiver.’ ‘Make me weep.’ ‘Make me think.

– Henri René Albert Guy De Maupassant