It’s well known that our moods are contagious. In fact, Googling “contagious emotions research” yielded 6,360,000 hits! And while the research continues to explore why we pick up on others’ emotions, there is no doubt that we do. Therefore, as a presenter or meeting leader you have tremendous power to elevate (or deflate) your colleagues using your own emotions, and this, in turn, will impact their actions in the meeting and beyond for better or worse.
So, what’s your plan?
Have you thought about the impact you want to have on your audience’s emotions? How do you want them to feel? Inspired? Challenged? Nervous? Excited? Enlightened? If it’s one of these, or something equally as engaging, how will you craft and deliver your message in order to achieve this goal? And how will you know you’ve been successful?
- If people leave one of your meetings fired up, then you were successful.
- If people send you enthusiastic emails after your conference call, then you were successful.
- If people willingly grab the baton and start running with it after your presentation, then you were successful.
Unfortunately, many meetings and presentations default to the uninspiring and action-less “to inform.” Forgive me while I yawn. And it’s too bad, because folks who prepare and deliver presentations intended to inform have probably spent as much time preparing as those whose purpose is to inspire…maybe more. The “informers” have likely spent much more time building content-rich slides that will have little impact, while the “influencers” have minimized slides, maximized delivery and practiced out loud to ensure an impactful and engaging session.
Look, if someone has called a meeting then they want to leverage the power of a group. Mood transmission is elevated in groups.
How the presenter feels about this issue is how the listeners will feel. Passion begets passion. Concern begets concern. Non-committal begets…, well, you see the pattern.
What to do?
- Strive to make an emotional connection as well as an intellectual one when creating content. Choose words that will excite, engage, challenge, etc.
- Be real with yourself about your own emotions and decide when and how much to share.
- Anticipate the audience’s emotions so you can either tap into them or redirect them via your content and delivery (example: to calm, to align, etc.).
When presenters are clear on the impact they want to have, and when they tap into their emotional intelligence, they can dramatically influence what their colleagues will think, feel and do.