I created my Emotional Eloquence program to encourage people to think of their presentations as opportunities to engage, influence and inspire, while simultaneously conveying important information. My research shows that speakers, leaders and audiences are hungry for a return to eloquence.

The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States is stunning proof of the power of Emotional Eloquence. Barack Obama was and continues to be a phenomenon. At rally after rally during his campaign, crowds of 50, 75 and 100,000 people came to hear him speak. Over 250,000 people flocked to Grant Park in Chicago to hear his victory speech.

The core messages of his campaign were Change You Can Believe In, The Audacity of Hope, and Yes We Can. While the economy was the central issue of the campaign, his core themes were emotional and inspirational.

In this article, I’ll highlight three of the 8 Core Elements of my Emotional Eloquence program that President Obama utilized so masterfully.

The first element, and a central premise of what I teach in both Story Theater and Emotional Eloquence, is that Emotion is the Fast Lane to the Brain.

As a speaker, if you don’t connect your content and ideas to an emotion, you will fail to get results. Speaking to a group of people is always about getting results. It doesn’t matter how much content you have to convey, it’s all designed to get people to do something differently or to think about something differently.

Think of emotion as the glue that makes content stick. Without the emotional glue, your content, ideas, principles, premises and proposals run the risk of being deleted from your listener’s memory by the time you leave the room. In speaking, the person with the best idea doesn’t always win. The winner is the person who knows how to connect that idea to an emotional state. We call it Emotional Eloquence.

Obama understood that the country was angry and disappointed with the past administration, and he used those emotions as a springboard for his message of change. He was able to connect his change message to an emotional appeal of hope for a better future. He made hope a verb. More than any other candidate in recent history, he connected emotionally with people.

If you want to get results, connect content to emotion because Emotion is the Fast Lane to the Brain.

The next core element he utilized effectively is to Appeal to People’s Higher Aspirations and Moral Convictions.

One of President Obama’s themes, toward the end of his campaign, was an appeal for people to reject the divisiveness and negativity of the campaign in favor of listening to their better angels. By doing so, he appealed to people’s higher aspirations for a more positive tone and respectful debate. In his victory speech, he asked us to consider what changes our children will face in the next 100 years, thus appealing to our higher aspiration to leave the world a better place for our children.

When he proposed a program where young people could pay for college by volunteering in their communities, he appealed to the moral value of service to others.

If you want to get results from your next presentation, Appeal to People’s Higher Aspirations and Moral Convictions.

The last core element in Emotional Eloquence is to Close Your Speech (or presentation) with a Message of Hope.

If there is one theme that flows through everything that Barack Obama spoke about, it’s that we must choose the audacity of hope. I believe it was his ability to inspire hope in others that got him elected, even in the midst of two wars, an economic crisis and a palpable cynicism towards government.

If you listen to any great speaker, you will notice that they never end their speech on a point of information or data. They never end on the magnitude of the task or challenge. They close their speech or presentation with an inspiring and uplifting message designed to lead people toward a hopeful future. They close with something positive and forward moving that is emotional rather than cerebral, that calls on people to dig deep to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Here in the United States, in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and an uncertain future, for a vast majority of Americans, Barack Obama gives us hope. Nothing will ever be the same. A new generation has spoken. A new day has dawned. A new era has begun. And it rings with hope. Close Your Speech with a Message of Hope.

Author's Bio: 

Doug Stevenson, president of Story Theater International, is a storytelling in business expert. He is the creator of The Story Theater Method and the author of the book, Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method.

His keynote, training and executive coaching clients include Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Bristol Myers Squibb, Wells Fargo, Amgen, Volkswagen, Century 21, The Department of Defense, The National Education Association and many more.

His 10 CD - How to Write and Deliver a Dynamite Speech audio learning system is a workshop in a box. It contains an 80-page follow along workbook. Learn more at: www.dynamitespeech.com

Follow Doug on Twitter@DougStoryCoach

Doug can be reached at 1-800-573-6196 or 1-719-573-6195. Learn more about the Story Theater Method, purchase the book, eBook or Story Theater audio six pack, and sign-up for the free Story Theater newsletter at: www.storytelling-in-business.com.