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Speak WITH and TO Emotion

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Another potent tip is to speak to and from emotion.

What do we mean by this?

When trying to sell something, you are told to focus on the “value proposition.” That means thinking about what it is that people gain from the product. Does your product make them? Happier? Healthier? Richer?

This will create an emotional hook, and emotion is what dictates behavior.

Well, attention is a type of behavior. And if you want people to listen, you need to address something that seems pertinent to them – you need to appeal to their emotions. Speaking about pride, challenge, and success does not mean discussing numbers or strategy.

Find the emotional hook and use this to elaborate and bring your point to life.

How does this make you feel? Likewise, it would help if you tried to channel that emotion yourself. Whether you are extremely happy, extremely confident, or something else, let that inform your choice of vocabulary.


When you feel strongly about what you are saying, you will naturally gesticulate more and use more significant gestures. This unconscious signal makes us appear more congruent – our bodies and faces match our feelings.

That, in turn, means that people will be more engaged and trusting in what we say. Look at anyone you typically think of as charismatic, and you will find that they all use these kinds of large gestures as they talk.

But Know When to be Still

However, learning to be entirely still when you are not talking and getting your point across. Again, this will help you evoke confidence and calm, creating a powerful aura around you that makes other people want to listen.

As you continue reading this book, you will see that many of these strategies are combined with techniques that make a better leader. These body language and language tips are indicative and correlate with the traits you are trying to cultivate.

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