How you do you use emotional impact in the stories you share? Emotional stories help you build stronger connections with your audience. If you choose your stories correctly, you build a lasting leadership legacy for yourself and your organization.
Great serving leaders learn how to impact others by sharing more of themselves in their presentations. How do you build a presentation that has emotional impact on your audience? Right now, you might be thinking that you’re not certain you want to take this step. After today, you will be more confident in the way you talk with others because you begin to master this secret of all great communicators, emotional impact.
Let’s look at the a situation where you might be given an opportunity to talk in front of a group of entrepreneurs about what it’s like to build a successful business. The group has asked you because it was announced that your company was again featured in INC Magazine’s INC 500 list of high growth private businesses. You’ve been on this list several years in a row and you’re about to enter their Hall of Fame. How do you connect with your fellow entrepreneurs?
How do you connect with the people in your audience? I have an easy three step process I use to build emotional impact with my audience.
The first step for emotional impact is to research the audience you‘re speaking in front to. Who are they? What’s their professional and personal background? Why are they attending this meeting? Who else might have spoken to the group and on what topics? Once you get this information, you are ready to begin putting together your presentation. When I’m doing my research, I’m looking for clues that help me better understand the people I‘m talking with. I also use it as an opportunity to get to know other leaders better. I might even invite them to come to my presentation, if it makes sense.
The second step for emotional impact is to begin assembling the material into a file so I can review it after I put together my presentation. At this stage, I might also send thank you notes to the people who helped me better understand my audience. If we had really great rapport, I offer to send them my final presentation when I finish it. At this stage, I’m beginning to build a network of people who have similar interests to the group. It’s funny, many of the people I have followed speaking send me a copy of their presentations and research for me to review. It’s a great way to get to know others and an incredible opportunity to grow your circle of influence.
The third step for emotional impact is to put my presentation together. I assemble my key points, I consider who I’m talking with and then I sit down and put my key ideas together into the form of an outline, using a separate slide for each idea. At this third stage, I also begin thinking what personal stories I might share to connect better with the audience.
Depending on the emotional impact I’m trying to achieve, I consider what stories match the event and the attendees. For example, since I’m talking with entrepreneurs I might be open to sharing moment of greatest joy as an entrepreneur. However, before I do this, I again look at my notes to see if this is the right audience with whom to share that story. I have found that my greatest failures have helped me connect more strongly with early stage, high growth entrepreneurs. These failures create an emotional impact when shared with others. We all make mistakes and knowing how I made a huge mistake and came back from it gives them a quiet confidence that they will also succeed.
When I talk about failure, I allow the audience to feel what I was going through as I made the biggest mistake of my professional life. I include additional details that connect to their current situations. I also use pauses to increase the emotional impact. You can hear a pin drop as I share my seven figure failure!
This is a story that has emotional impact. It’s more than just how much that mistake cost me. It’s about the feelings of failure; the loss, dejection, and disappointment. The idea of letting others down, as well as myself. Every person in the room can feel it in the pit of their stomach.
Now that I have connected on this level I can begin sharing my successes with them. They now know that I’m authentic and have the scars to prove it. You shouldn’t be afraid to share your emotional stories when talking with others. It helps you stand out from the crowd.
If you want to learn other ways to influence others you might also enjoy and share How do You Build Influence like Ben Franklin?
See you here next week, when I share how to identify which opportunities you should pursue when working with potential partners.