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Why You Shouldn't Shy Away From Feelings as a Communicator

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Think of a speaker you heard years ago. How did they make you feel? Excited, angry, curious? You may not have always liked the feeling; however, the difference between a moment we remember and a moment we forget is the emotional effect it had on us.

By Stephanie Bickel and Madina Behori

Therefore, if we want to be remembered by our audiences, we need to elicit feelings in them. What feelings do you want your audience to have? Here are some examples of what most professionals tell us: "I want my listeners to feel..."

  1. heard

  2. reassured

  3. confident

  4. engaged

  5. inspired

  6. motivated

  7. enthusiastic

  8. calm

  9. safe

  10. trusted

  11. supported

  12. relieved

  13. secure

  14. convinced

  15. understood

  16. open

  17. comfortable

  18. enlightened

  19. impressed

  20. smart

  21. secure

  22. relaxed

  23. happy

Feelings fuel actions and actions lead to results. Therefore, if you want your audience to feel something, you must convey this verbally, vocally, and visually. This means what you say, how you say it, and your body language while you say it.

For example, if you want your audience to feel understood, then pay attention to the words they repeat and adopt their language (verbal). If you want your audience to feel enthusiastic, then use a more motivational vocal style; this is a voice that is varied in pitch, pace, and volume (vocal). If you want your audience to feel relaxed, then remove all tension from your body and be more fluid in your gestures (visual).

It's all about being more intentional with your communication.

This is what it means to speak by design.


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