What Do You Want Them To Feel?



I had the honor of conducting some talent coaching sessions earlier this year at the Momentum Conference in Orlando, organized by the CMB.

Have I told you how much I love these people? They’re so engaged and passionate about what they’re doing. It’s infectious.

Anyway, the question I asked each volunteer before we began listening to their work is, “What did you want your listeners to feel?”

Seems pretty basic, right?

And most of these individuals had an answer, but you might be surprised at how rare this is.

Do you want to inspire?

Do you want to entertain? What exactly does that mean and how do you measure success?

Do you want to move your listeners, to encourage them, to lead them to action?

Do you want to make them laugh out loud? How often do you succeed?

Do you want to persuade, to change what they believe? We know how tough a task that is.

I’ve written before about confirmation bias, but do you know about “desirability bias“? (subs. may be required)

I’ve written before about Adam Grant, who inspired this reflection.

Dr. Grant offered three emotions he was hoping to trigger during a presentation he was giving: surprise, fascination, and amusement.

Surprise is all about shattering expectations, and delight occurs when we greatly exceed those expectations.

Fascination results from offering content that is of great interest to your listeners, something they didn’t already know. It’s content they’ll remember and repeat.

And we all know how great it feels to make others laugh. Naturally funny people are always fun to be around.

If you’re a PD and you want to become a more effective coach to your talent, ask them what they hoped their listeners would feel before you cue up that air check.

And if you’re talent and you’re not thinking about what emotion you want your listeners to feel as they hear you, this break, you’re not even trying to connect on a deeper level.

And, given that they — your listeners — are giving you their precious attention, that is a terrible waste.

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