Why do presenters in business believe that they need to be monotone, without affect or emphasis? What is wrong with showing a little emotion when you are speaking? “No, no!” too many presenters respond. “Although I don’t want to be monotone, I just can’t get too emotional.”
Being emotional does not mean becoming a drama queen (or king). It means matching your face, body, phrasing, and gestures to your words. For example, when you are telling your audience about the failure of a research project, you certainly shouldn’t be walking around smiling, speaking in a loud and enthusiastic voice. If you did, your method of delivery wouldn’t match your message. If, on the other hand, you are selling a product to a company that can really use it, you do need to smile, emphasize the relevant points of the product, and use phrases like, “I really believe this product will help you achieve some of your key goals.”
How should you, as a presenter, convey the positive emotions that will capture your audience? Here are some suggestions.
- Excitement, enthusiasm: Gleam in your eyes, gestures, faster-paced talk.
- Happiness, pleasure: Smile on your lips and in your eyes, emphasis on certain words, silences between sentences so your audience can feel your happiness.
- Curiosity: Questions asked with an inquisitive tone of voice, open gestures, pauses to give your audience time to think about what you are saying.
- Confidence, self-assurance: Smiling, using your body as you talk.
- Empathy, understanding: Leaning forward to talk, having silence between your thoughts so you audience can respond.
- Commitment: Stating what you will do in a positive, upbeat voice tone.
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