better speaking skills » Is Your Audience “Feeling” Your Message?

Is Your Audience “Feeling” Your Message?

by | Aug 11, 2019 | 0 comments

He wasn’t trying to get a laugh. When comic Jon Stewart spoke at a Congressional hearing in June he was trying to get permanent financial aid for first responders, struggling with health issues related to the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Why did his words have power? Why did his message move legislators to take action? He spoke with passion and emotion. After his testimony, Congress voted to make sure the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund never runs out of money. The Jon Stewart lesson for business presenters is simple: make your audience hear and FEEL your message.

Before you pull together your next presentation remarks and slides, ask yourself three questions:

1. How do I want my audience to think differently after I’m done?
2. What do I want my audience to do differently after my speech?
3. How do I want my audience to feel after my presentation?

To make your audience think differently, share a different point of view. To make them do something different, give them a call to action. To make them feel differently, add emotion to your words.

To really make your audience “feel” your message, tell a story that gets an emotional response—make them laugh, make them sad, make them angry. An emotion is just a strong feeling (happiness, sadness or anger). As a speaker, when you touch the emotions of your audience, your words are more memorable, powerful and impactful.

Have you heard the saying, “Be the Change You Wish to See…”? For presenters, if you want your audience to feel something, mirror the emotion you want to see. That means, you need to step out of your straight-laced business persona, and show emotion—if that’s what you want your audience to do.

Use your face, your voice and your gestures to express how you feel. It’s OK to smile, shout, dance or get angry—if it makes your message more moving, emotional and real.

Fighting back tears, with a trembling voice, a comedian got a stagnant Congress to move on legislation they had not acted on in years! And you can inspire your audience to action, if you let them hear and feel the emotion in your face, your voice and your gestures.

If you want to put more feeling your business presentations, fill out the Contact Us page at

Rosalyn Porter

Rosalyn Porter

Rosalyn Gist Porter, MBA, founded Better Speaking Skills after more than 20 years in corporate communications as a manager, writer, and editor, for major corporations such as Lockheed Martin. Today, she helps coaches, business owners, executives, salespeople, sales teams, and other professionals increase sales, confidence, and influence with powerful public speaking and presentation skills! Rosalyn is Certified World Class Speaking Coach and a proud member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.

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