The English Square

Emotions in Your Speeches

Sep 14 / Rebecca Hope
Emotions are tricky things. They’re unpredictable, hard to control and can do your intellect a disservice in speeches. Learning to navigate emotions considering all factors is paramount to conveying a message to an audience in an impactful way.  

Awareness is key. Where it is common for experts delivering public speeches to be experienced in intellectual disciplines, there tends to be a very low emotional awareness of self. Oftentimes, I need to pull out word lists to present verbal tools for describing emotions just to start the awareness process. But that’s just it - it’s a process. Understanding one’s own emotions is a difficult task. It requires you to stand outside yourself and look at intangible moving forces which drive you to do what you do.  

Every utterance carries both explicit and implicit meaning. Where denotative meaning can be presented through logic and words, connotative meaning is expressed through nuance, word choice, sequencing, and non-verbal communication. It is through the refinement of using these devices that speakers can distinguish themselves as of high value in a 1.9 billion dollar motivational speaking market.  

Once you can describe what you’re feeling (without any pretences) and what truly drives you to take the angle you’ve taken on your topic, your performance can undergo development to carry these underlying messages to an audience. This skill can not be learnt in books or in theory. A practical engagement is necessary. All it takes is having an open and willing attitude to develop in this area. 

If you can get a little closer to mastering your emotions and managing them in the presentation of your speeches, you’re on the path to becoming a speaker of high impact. A speaker who can spark movement, inspiration and change. 

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