Emotion is the ‘secret sauce’ for getting your message across. It is one of the keys to turning an info dump or sales lecture into a persuasive presentation. We often say sales and marketing is all about capturing hearts and minds. Yet so many presenters work hard at the mind part but do little to speak to people’s hearts.
You can rank presentations based on their emotional content. Presentations (and speeches and talks) fall somewhere on a spectrum between informative to persuasive. It’s the difference between ‘I have a dream’ and ‘I have a plan’. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech still resonates around the world. Do you remember any politician’s 10 point plan? There are techniques that can help you humanize your sales pitch. Thinks that can make your presentation more persuasive.
Research has shown us that emotion plays an important role in memory. And emotion is the foundation for human to human communication. But how do you inject emotion into a sales presentation without sounding corny and clichéd? You can do this by using what we call the ‘persuasive tools’.
Persuasive presentations use these tools to clarify and explain complex ideas. They can also inject humanizing emotion into the presentation. So far I have found 6 persuasive tools: analogies, diagrams, examples, quotes, images and stories. Analogies and diagrams are the best tools to help clarify complex issues and ideas. Of course as long they are not complex themselves. That leaves images, examples, quotes and stories to help you inject emotion into the presentation.
Of all the persuasive tools, images and stories can be the most powerful in their ability to add emotional moments. We have all experienced the emotional impact of a great image. Using them strategically in your presentation is important. Stories are one of the most powerful yet underutilized persuasive tools. Especially underutilized in sales presentations.