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Get Emotional: 5 Ways to Give Better Presentations

Get Emotional: 5 Ways to Give Better Presentations
Credit: Nivens/Shutterstock

Few things raise employees' anxiety level like having to speak or give presentations in front of their co-workers or clients.

While most don't have trouble talking and sharing their ideas in small group settings, stress levels start to rise as the audience size increases. The key to becoming a solid and memorable public speaker lies in your emotions, said Vikas Jhingran, a former winner of the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and author of the new book, "Emote: Using Emotions to Make Your Message Memorable" (Career Press, 2014).

"The emotional content of a speech makes the information memorable," Jhingran told Business News Daily. "Needless to say, good communicators are excellent at working with their emotions and the emotions of others." [Beyond PowerPoint: 11 Business Presentation Tools ]

To help professionals learn how to use their emotions to their advantage in order to become a better public speaker, Jhingran offers several tips:

  • Know your emotions and the emotions of others: Before, during and after each important conversation or speech, take the time to notice how you feel and listen to your emotions. Jhingran said this emotional awareness is sometimes lost in today's fast-paced information age, but it is the first step toward becoming a better communicator at work.
  • Identify the emotions that are needed for success:A presentation typically has purpose, but rarely is this purpose understood in terms of emotions. It is important to understand what your audience needs to think and do as a result of the presentation, but it is even more important to understand how your audience should feel at the end of the speech, Jhingran said. The key to an excellent presentation is a good understanding of this feeling at the end. He said success is achieved when the final emotion is aligned with the purpose of the speech.
  • Have an emotional dialog when speaking: A memorized speech is usually less effective than a well-prepared speech where the words just flow. Jhingran said that when speeches or presentations are memorized, the speaker is not in the moment to be aware of his or her emotions and the emotions of the audience. This emotional listening is how good communicators navigate the emotional journey of their audience. He said effective public speakers use the emotional feedback from their audience to determine what is working and which issues need more support. He said this leads to interesting, impactful and effective speeches.
  • Develop the proper communication tools: Once you understand your emotions and those of your audience, it becomes easier to work with speaking tools, such as good eye contact. These tools are additional ways to convey emotion and information. Jhingran said a speaker's eyes, for example,are an excellent way to communicate and transfer emotion to an audience.
  • Seek feedback: Communicators should take advantage of every opportunity to get feedback. Try asking questions that provide emotion-based feedback, like, “How did you feel at the end of the conversation?" Jhingran said this will help determine whether the right emotions are being evoked and provide a way to pinpoint the right tools to make your speeches and presentations more effective.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.