There’s this thing in presenting called the emotional objective. It’s essentially the way you want your audience to feel both during your meeting, and once you’ve finished presenting. It’s a good thing to work this out before you present.
A master presenter knows the emption they want their audience to feel from one minute to the next. As an example, you might want them to start off interested, then become worried, then optimistic, then excited, then compelled. One way to work this out is to go through your script or your notes and work out which emotion is important at the various moments of your presentation.
Then, once you have worked out what you want your audience to feel, make sure you feel it too. This means you have to tell your brain what to feel, so that your brain can remember to tell your face!
If your facial expressions don’t match what you are saying then your audience will be confused about your emotional objective and at best they’ll guess what they are meant to feel, at worst they’ll feel the wrong thing or just switch off. Remember that your audience can see every smile, smirk and grimace and they use every one of your facial expressions to find meaning in your message.
What do you do if you don’t feel it?
Well it’s not about you, it’s all about your audience. And the truth is you need to feel it. One way to trick yourself into feeling and then conveying the correct emotion from one minute to the next is to hold an emotional word in your head. Once you have this consciousness and clarity, your entire body will know what to do to help you and your audience feel what you are feeling. Whatever you want to feel and express then all you have to do is to tell your brain so that it tells your face.
Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media. www.michellebowden.com.au