Here’s my third rule relating back to my cover article of earlier this week.
We make decisions based on emotion and justify them based on facts.
The majority of people don’t buy a car based upon how economically it will get them from A to B. It’s usually something else … like the most new gizmos, the color, the speed … or just the way it makes them feel. If they can imagine themselves enjoying driving that particular car, the sale is made.
Even in the corporate environment, emotion is most often the factor that will sway your audience. How they feel about the information presented will likely be the deciding factor as to how they react. The fact that it might be logical to follow a certain behavior or action often has little to do with the result you’ll achieve.
Olympic athletes overwhelming need to emotionally connect themselves with a win; they must mentally imagine themselves crossing the finish line. Once they do this, they’re fully committed and convinced they can do it. It’s the power of engaging the imagination.
In the same way, you can use visual support to engage your audience. But it’s their minds that are the target. Capture their imaginations and you’ve captured their hearts and their minds.
Are you engaging your audience’s imaginations with the screens you’re using? Are they simply there to fill space? Do they add to the point you’re making? If not, they’re likely making you less effective.
It’s important to base your presentation on logic, on facts and figures, but don’t forget to include a bit of emotion, as well. Yes, even in business presentations.
I’ve won many a contract based upon emotion, because I offered security … a guarantee … something to make them feel more comfortable saying “yes.” Or I simply made them laugh.
Emotion engages. Facts do not.
So … lead with the head … but don’t forget a good dose of heart.
Do you have any really good examples of where emotion won over facts? Drop me a line and let me know. Would love to feature a story or two here.