Confidence Trick – Focus on how you want the audience to feel

Whether you are planning a presentation, or even thinking about a phone call you are about to make, a great question to ask yourself is “How do I want them to feel when I start to speak and have finished speaking?”. Too often we put all the emphasis on the facts when it’s the feelings that will be remembered for far longer. Of course if all you present are the facts, especially with the use of hundreds of PowerPoint slides, then the feeling you are guaranteed to leave behind will be mind numbing boredom.

Let’s say you are about to run a training session. One thing you would want to consider is what kind of mood or state would it be good for people to be in when they are learning something. There are many you could choose but perhaps curiosity would be one of the most useful. So how do you get an audience to feel curious? Easy, you tell them a story that demonstrates that emotion (and you know how keen we are at the Confident Club on the power of telling a good story). You might start by saying “I don’t know if you can remember a time when you were really curious? This will immediately get them to go inside their minds to the ‘memory file’ marked curiosity. It’s also really important that as you tell the story you yourself display the emotion in not just the words you use but your tone of voice and even physiology.

One of my favourite definitions of leadership is the transfer of emotion. It’s also a great way to think about presentations. So next time you get up to speak what emotion will you be transferring?

Also when you 100% focus on how you want the audience to feel you forget to think about how you are feeling which is how it should be!

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