How has the idea that emotions are bad crept into our culture?

Somehow we’ve been conditioned to believe that we are, or at least ought to be, purely analytical creatures basing all decisions on logical reasoning.

It’s simply not true, and presentations that focus on facts and information at the expense of emotion are not successful.  Here’s why.

  1. Emotion triggers memory. If your message moves the audience in some way — if it surprises them, makes them laugh, makes them angry or awestruck — they will remember it.
  2. Emotion triggers action. People make decisions based on their feelings and then use reasoning to back up the decision they've already made. Even if they don’t want to admit it.
  3. If your audience is at all sceptical about your message, presenting data before establishing an emotional connection with them will make them even more resistant.

In The Heart of Change, change leadership expert John Kotter says, “People change what they do less because they are given analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings."

If your audience is not moved emotionally, your message hasn’t reached them.

Instead of thinking about what information you can provide the audience in your next presentation, try thinking about how they feel.