Bill's Blog

The importance of expressiveness

Have you ever heard a truly boring speech or presentation?

When I was in high school, the powers that be made us listen to movies about smoking and other dangerous behavior. The films had the look of scientific presentations, complete with a guy in a white coat talking like a geek. These were Boring—with a capital B.

I can remember my strength of materials professor in engineering school. He was as close to a monotone as I have ever encountered. He was BORING. It was all that I could do to keep awake.

Expressiveness, first of all, helps keep your speech interesting, which helps keep your audience mentally engaged.

But there is another value to expressiveness. It brings in another dimension of communication.

Words alone can inform the mind. If that is your objective, expressiveness is not important.

If, however, you want to persuade your audience, if you want to inspire them, if you want to entertain them, you need expressiveness.

Imagine a motivational speaker with zero energy, zero enthusiasm. Would you be motivated? Perhaps, yes, if he or she had just told you about a program where you could make a million dollars by this time tomorrow. But if they don’t sound like they believe it, why are you going to believe it?

Just about every sales training program tells us that we need to tap into the emotions of our prospect, that logic alone will not do that. We are told that we need to craft our words to touch the personal hot buttons of the prospect.

People respond emotionally to emotion. And expressiveness allows us to communicate on the emotional level.

Bottom line: Information informs the mind. Expressiveness moves the heart.

If your goal includes moving someone to take action, you need expressiveness in your verbal communication.

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