Friday, February 19, 2010

Lindsey Vonn and the Power of Emotion

The Olympics is a great reminder of the power of emotion. While it is the athletics that impresses us, it is the stories and emotions that move us - and that ultimately stay with us.

Watch (or rewatch) Lindsey Vonn's reaction to her first gold medal on Wednesday.

Ultimately it is her outpouring of feeling that makes this moment so memorable.

This seems obvious in the context of the Olympics, but is a good reminder for any time you are trying to connect with an audience. Find the emotion. You can have the most powerful content in the world - but if you fail to tap into people's feelings, your message will not stick.

From the Green Room: People will remember most how they felt when they listen to you. Take time to identify the emotions you want to express to your audience. After all, emotions are contagious. If you feel inspired when you speak, so will your audience.


Anonymous said...

It seems that some of the best speakers convey a range of emotions (and tones) which emerge naturally from their presentations. Is it possible or even desireable to sustain a single emotion throughout a speech -- unless you are using emotion as a synonym for enthusiasm?

Sarah Gershman said...

It is almost never desirable to sustain one emotion for an entire speech - even if it is one of enthusiasm. Emotional tone changes are what keep the listener engaged. That being said, you want to leave the audience feeling one emotion only.

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