When Jobs first introduced the iPod, he didn’t strictly talk about the hardware and software. He talked about the prospect of having a thousand songs in your pocket. Very simple language. Very clear tones. Very emotional language.
A thousand songs in your pocket? What an awe-inspiring concept for people at the time. That’s a veritable dream for those of us who grew up with Walkmans and boom boxes. Who wouldn’t want a put a thousand songs in their pocket?
The technology was undoubtedly noteworthy. But, Jobs’ communication strategies were simple and effective which helped get people’s attention from the start. The smartest guy in the room did not communicate in facts and figures. He communicated with simplicity, energy and above all conviction. When you integrate those three qualities—simple tones, creativity and emotion—your audience will follow you anywhere. They can absorb all of it. Nothing is lost. And the ideas behind your speech stick.
There’s always a tug of war in an audience between them relying on their intelligence and their emotions. In their hearts, they feel one thing, but their minds tell them to do another. Most speakers start with the mind and try to get to people’s hearts. If you truly want to be successful – reach people’s hearts first and their minds will inevitably follow.
But does that mean it has to be facts vs. emotion?
How About Facts with Emotion?
Both can be delivered and done effectively.
Let’s say you’re selling a machine. The machine performs a task faster than any other machine. That’s great – and very factual. But merely communicating your machine’s lightning-fast processing abilities often isn’t enough to close the sale.
A good salesperson will not only speak to the facts, but highlight the benefits for their particular product or service. In the case of this machine, they would communicate how faster speeds can help a client solve a given problem. There is emotion wrapped up in that appeal – you’re saving people time, effort and helping them make money. Those solutions help get them excited about the purchase as a part of making their future better.
Like an effective salesperson, it’s only through a speaker’s ability to make an audience feel something that they eventual close the sale. People, both in their personal and professional lives, make decisions that they feel are the right things to do rather than simply the logical thing to do.
When you consider the impact you want to make, consider the poet Maya Angelou’s words, “People will forget what you say, people will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.”
When you’re up on a podium, remember that people won’t be able to recall the exact words you deliver or the exact way you present your ideas, but they will remember the way you make them feel