Giving a persuasive speech? You'd better start out by being credible. And that means coming across as hard-headed and all-business, without any emotional involvement.
Accessing Your Emotional Intelligence
When was the last time you made an important decision solely from facts without any emotional involvement? Chances are you’ve never done that. We all make critical decisions from the gut. Only afterwards do we justify our choices with rational arguments.
The more important the decision, the more likely we are to do so.
In fact, there's a very good biological reason we act this way.
You know the left brain-right brain dichotomy: the left brain controls logic, language, and reasoning; and the right hemisphere takes care of creativity, emotions, and decision-making?
Notice that decisions and emotions are located in the same part of the brain? Obviously, removing all emotional input would be a terrible personal choice when it comes to making an important decision. How then could we eliminate emotional arguments when we're trying to persuade an audience?
Listeners are Persuaded by Emotional Language
When it comes to persuading people through speech, it's helpful to remember that audience members want to be influenced. That means that most of your listeners will not be actively resistant to your message. But for true influence to occur, an audience must believe in your honesty and trustworthiness as well as your expertise. And that's where emotional language and emotionally-based arguments come into play.
Perhaps focus groups have shown that your company's marketing approach makes sense . . . but what was the strongest emotional argument that you heard from those groups? You can tell your team that you're going to be providing them with information they need to use the new software . . . or that you and they are going to have a blast today learning the features of this fabulous new product. Do the numbers look good for the new product roll-out . . . or is everyone fired up about how this is going to blow away the competition?
Yes, your presentation has to be professional. But don't forget that you're usually speaking to the hearts as well as the minds of your listeners. Let outsiders think your material is dry as dust. Your job is to wear your passion on your sleeve.
Any time persuasion is involved in speaking, emotions will be (must be) part of the mix. Count on it.
So learn to use emotion to your advantage whenever you speak. Deliver the results and the numbers that are expected of you. But also find the emotional heart of what you’re saying—the thing that makes your message beat with a discernible pulse.
Your information will educate your audience. But emotion will intrigue them and make you a memorable speaker.