Connect With Your Audience: Don’t Hide Your Emotions When Speaking
When you mask your emotions, you sever all connection with the audience. They might as well be reading your speech from a boring magazine.
Conversely, your connection to the audience is strongest when you effectively transfer your emotion to them.
Are you sharing your emotions? Or are you speaking as if a paper bag hung between you and your audience?
If You Are Feeling It, Then Show It
It’s really a very simple concept — if you are feeling it, then show it.
- If you are passionate about your topic, show your passion.
- If you are mourning, show your sorrow.
- If you are excited, show the audience your excitement.
- If you are confident, show your confidence.
- If you are feeling ___, show ___.
Too often, speakers attempt to be “proper” or “dignified” when the occasion does not call for it. By masking their true emotions, they sacrifice authenticity and lose the audience.
Believability = Showing Appropriate Emotion
In the simple relationship shown below, Jessica Hagy reminds us that our believability is determined by the appropriateness of the emotion we are demonstrating.
The sincerity of a eulogy becomes believable when the speaker exhibits signs of sorrow such as an unsteady voice, a tearful eye, or a body full of grief.
Likewise, a politician’s credibility hinges on whether she is able to convey her conviction, confidence, and resolve to the audience through her speaking. If the words say “I believe in this budget“, but the emotion says “I’m bored standing up here“, which do you think the audience believes? Emotion trumps words. If the emotions displayed do not match the message, the audience will not trust the message.
Use Nervous Energy to Fuel Emotions
Professional speech writer Pete Ryckman recently encouraged us not to suppress our nervous energy. Instead, channel it into your emotions when speaking:
Successful speakers communicate profound belief in their own messages. They do it with emotion. Don’t pull back from your emotions. Move toward them. Use performance energy to win over your audiences.