As a professional speaker, not all of your talks will be designed to be humorous or entertaining in that fashion.

Sometimes your talk may be on serious subjects to elicit

donations or certain actions from people in positions of influence. In these instances, you still need to wear your creativity hat, because once again, you will be appealing to people's emotions, except this time, not their sense of humor.

To get people to feel involved or want to become involved, you have to appeal to their emotions.

It's not enough to just inspire them. To get them onboard with your ideas they have to feel that emotional involvement in order to feel motivated to take action.

You can stand there delivering cold hard facts, and while you may find the audience agreeing with you, you need to do more to get them feeling strongly enough about it so they will take action.

As an example, imagine reading an article in a paper about the need for a manned school crossing on a certain busy highway. Perhaps it mentions a community petition where concerned citizens can add their voice to effect action from a governing body. No photos, just statistics.

Tch Tch! Of course, it is evident to anybody with half a brain that manned school crossings for children needing to cross busy highways is important.

You sip your coffee and turn the page hoping that something will be done about it…

Now imagine seeing a news story on television, in Technicolor. There's the reporter standing alongside a busy highway where a young child has just been killed by a speeding driver. All because there was no safe way for the youngster to cross to get to his school on the other side.

Every day these young children take their lives into their own hands playing dodgem in the busy highway traffic just to get to and from school because the local authorities have not provided a safe means for them to cross the road.

You see the distraught parents sobbing in the background. You see the little white chalk outline of the small body in its final resting place on the road, with dark blood stains.

They show you a picture of the little girl when she was alive… so young… so pretty… so innocent. A beautiful young life wasted. Maybe you have a child the same age. You try to imagine how devastated the parents must be.

That child could be yours… or a neighbor's. You feel a tightening in your chest and an intensity of emotion at the tragedy of it all. You feel anger. It should never have happened! They are asking for people to sign a petition? Too right, you'll sign it!

See the difference?

The presentation of facts alone was not enough to spur you to even feel you wanted to take action, but when your emotions were brought into it, you felt very moved to action.

Your words must convey your "TV Technicolor stories" to reach people's emotions. This is where the art of good storytelling comes into its own and where being a creative thinker and writer comes in handy.

Overheads and slides are useful as tools to provide information for the audience – you can use them to show pictures that will help produce the right emotions.

If a picture paints a thousand words, the right pictures can do most of your talking and get the gut reaction you are looking for.

Of course, a successful presentation requires some input from the presenter, and as with all presentations, you are the one who has to provide the opening and the close. You can't just put on a slide projector and leave the room.

In this instance, if your close is to elicit a response that will get people to take some form of serious action, what pictures you use and the words you use must pack a powerful punch.

Remember, facts alone do not motivate people to action… facts combined with the right emotional response is what motivates people to take action.

Another technique you can use to evoke strong emotional responses from your audience involves audience empathy. You have to make them feel your message…

Remember: It's one thing to look at a sad story on a screen and hear somebody talk about it, and while that may tug at the emotions to a degree, getting the audience to feel it themselves is even more powerful.

So how can you get your audience intimately involved with a total stranger's story and a bunch of cold hard facts and hope to get them emotionally involved? You have to make it personal.

To get them to empathize, you have to bring it home to them by using their imagination. You do this by getting them thinking about parallels in their own lives, drawing on their own life experiences to evoke the emotional response you are seeking.

The only sure way to do this is to ask them to do it. You can encourage this by asking the audience questions. Get them thinking about the answers. And the type of questions you ask depends on the type of emotional response you want from them.

Are you speaking at an event to raise awareness and funds to build a Ronald MacDonald type house next to a children's hospital where parents can stay while their seriously ill child spend months in hospital, too far away from their home so they can't visit?

Ask your audience if they can remember back to when they were children if there was ever a time they were separated from their parents and they were afraid and lonely.

Maybe they had their own hospitalization experience to remember and drawn on or they have had children in that situation… or maybe there was some other kind of separation which affected them deeply, making them fearful of being alone and missing one or both parents.

Were they scared? Anxious? Worried? Unhappy? Did they feel abandoned? Bring up those unhappy memories in them and you'll have their support because now they really know what you're talking about!

On a similar theme, maybe you are speaking for an organization like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, again for children.

Maybe this time you are seeking donations to help make the wishes come true, or to provide the experiences or products and services that are being wished for.

? You can get your audience in a giving mood by asking questions that will make them remember their own or their children's experiences, special occasions when something they really wanted and knew they'd never get, was provided…

? You get your audience involved when you ask them to imagine if that 'gift' was for a child with a short time to live… play on their emotions.

? You can play on your audience's emotions by involving them, by asking questions and getting them to put themselves in the other person's shoes.

Don’t forget: Whatever emotion you are trying to evoke, you can ask your audience questions and get them thinking. The words you use and the questions you ask depends on the type of situation you are in and the people you are speaking to, and your reason for speaking in the first place.

A combination of your cleverly worded talk, the power of visual slides, plus asking smart questions can get your audience to feel exactly what you want them to feel.

You'll find it useful to tap into emotions of sadness, hopelessness, grief, and maybe anger or futility, and then joy and happiness and lightness of being when their problems were solved and their fears swept away or when some kind person put things right in their world.

Get out your Thesaurus and find powerful words that will help you convey your message for the best emotional response.

Use descriptive phrases to paint word pictures.

Your audience might not be able to relate to a total stranger with a sad story, but they can relate to it when they put themselves in the stranger's shoes by remembering back to a time in their own life that evokes the same or a similar emotional reaction.

When you have them really feeling it, then you can more easily earn their empathy and support for your cause. Try the above tips and let me know if they work for you!

Author's Bio: 

Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is a humorist, speaker, seminar leader and proud member of the National Speakers Association who has appeared on over 22 television shows. He delivers presentations on humor, reinvention, copywriting and marketing to corporations and associations across America and parts of Jersey. Peter’s specialty is delivering strong content with an equally humorous side.
Just as important he can show you how to take a stale presentation & boost it with humor for optimal LAUGHS! As an information marketer he is also the creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking. For more information on his products, more articles, and to sign up for his FREE 7 Days to Effective Public Speaking E-course, go to