How do you want your audience to feel after your speech? “Good, of course!” Obvious, right? Alright, then I do have a bit more tricky question for you:
How do you want your audience to feel DURING your speech? When you now say “Good” again, we should start expanding your vocabulary a bit. How about sad, happy, captivated, interested, relieved or angry? “Why the heck would you want your audience to feel angry?” Because it is a strong emotional reaction!
When we abstract down our human existence, we very quickly land in the realm of biochemical reactions. These cause emotions and feelings. The driver for our actions.
Stories, books, movies, and even music take us on an emotional rollercoaster. They create meaningful experiences. The greater the contrast between ups and downs, the more enjoyable. And isn’t it exactly what we want our talk to be? Enjoyable? A meaningful experience?
Strong emotions and feelings help us to remember experiences and information. How strong a feeling is usually depends on the feeling prior to it. Everything is relative. These turning points of emotional change or contrast can become a powerful tool when designing a presentation.
Let’s get emotional
Studies show that only about 10% of our presentation is remembered after one week. The remaining 90% evaporates into thin air. Even bolder and brighter bullet points do not help us hammer the so valuable information into the brains of our audience. But what actually decides what 10% of the talk is being remembered?
You and only you! If you amplify the parts of your presentation of great value with strong emotions, you elevate them above the rest. Try making a timeline of your talk and think about a couple of emotions you want your audience to go through. It is important that these emotions and feelings are not overlapping themselves, but take over from another.
This is your Emotion Map!
You will find that suddenly a lot of information you wanted to include in your presentation does not seem so relevant anymore or is hard to incorporate within the Emotion Map. But maybe that is a good sign that these bits of information are not as relevant and would do your real key messages more harm than good.
It’s feelings we care for, not information. During our talk, our audience goes through a range of emotions and feelings. When we do not design these emotional reactions, we leave it to chance what emotion is being triggered. Having a clear goal for our presentation means we have to take their reaction into our own hands. An Emotion Map can help you to lay out the emotions you want your audience to experience. On top of that, designing a presentation that way is really fun!