How to Perfect the Presentation Experience – Invoking Feeling and Emotion in Content

How to Perfect the Presentation Experience – Invoking Feeling and Emotion in Content

Feeling and Emotion in Content

In many ways, the true power of marketing collateral and other types of professional materials that you make has nothing to do with selling a product or service at all. The accuracy at which you can outline the technical specifications of a particular item, nor the sheer volume of stats that you can throw at your audience, are your primary objectives. Or at least, they shouldn’t be.

While these are absolutely factors that matter, the primary reason why collateral like presentations and other types of visual content are so important has to do with the way they invoke feeling and emotion in the people who are viewing them.

When you sit down to make a presentation, it’s not about convincing a person that your product or service is the best of them all, it’s about using the tried-but-true tenant of storytelling to create an emotional response that allows your reader to come to that same conclusion on their own.

To a large degree, this is why visual material such as presentations is so effective.

They allow you to take your message, frame it in a way that your reader is receptive to and present them with the type of organic, compelling package that they won’t be able to look away from.

If you really want to craft the perfect presentation experience and invoke feeling and emotion in content, however, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Emotion in Content: By the Numbers

Before you can truly start using the power of emotion to your advantage, you need to get a better understanding of why this is such a powerful sense in the first place.

Roger Dooley of recently conducted a study to learn more about the effectiveness of three different types of content, all presented with roughly the same message in three very different ways.

He took a look at content that was purely emotional, content that was purely rational and content that was a mixture of the two. His findings were surprising to say the least.

  • He found that content that was purely emotional performed roughly twice as well as content that was purely rational, coming in at 31% versus 16%, respectively.
  • Content that had a healthy mixture of both rational and emotional content performed better than rational content alone, coming in at 26%.

He attributed these numbers to the fact that human brains are wired to process emotional content WITHOUT cognitive processing, but you can explain it however you’d like. The fact of the matter is that if you’re able to generate an emotional feeling within your target audience, you’ve created the type of deeply powerful, natural response that you can use to your advantage.

Other studies have been done that back up these same facts, giving us statistics like:

This also goes a long way towards explaining why, according to DemandMetric, 78% of CMOs deeply believe that custom, personalized content is the future of marketing in general. It stands to reason that if you spend time learning about your audience and address them not as a collective but as individuals, developing that type of ideal emotional response and invoking just the right feeling because that much easier.

Crafting the Perfect Presentation

Just as a master filmmaker uses state-of-the-art cinematic equipment like cameras and lights to bring their vision to life, you need to start thinking the same way in terms of invoking emotion from your presentations.

A tool like Visme is more than just a Powerpoint alternative – with an easy to use interface designed specifically for building presentations, Infographics and other types of visual content, it’s a way to gather all the tools you need to strike a chord with your audience in one convenient place.

Once you know the message you’re trying to create and the emotion you want to instill, you can begin to build out the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it.

Visme in particular lets you do this with fully customizable templates, thousands of assets, analytics and delivery options that give you complete control over your presentation.

You can control not just the way your presentation looks but how it feels, mastering tone and pace to hit all the right chords at all the right moments. It also lets you take your custom presentation and publish it anywhere, from your website to your blog to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and beyond.

On the subject of telling a finely crafted and naturally emotional story, you’ll also want to master the major rules of storytelling – particularly when building content that is inherently visual like a presentation. Chief among them is the fact that if you have the opportunity to let your audience SEE something rather than just TELL them about it, you should always take it.

Which of the following two examples is more emotionally charged: a paragraph that outlines the community work your organization did to help local schools or the smiling faces of countless children enjoying the fruits of your labor?

You’ll also want to make your story move. Remember that brevity is the soul of wit and along those lines, pace is essential when it comes to your presentation. Distil the story you’re trying to tell down to three sentences: a beginning, a middle and an end. Think of them as three separate pillars and think deeply about how to most organically move from one to the next.

Feeling and Emotion in Content: The Power of Marketing

Anyone who ever said that marketers were only concerned with selling was missing a much larger and more important idea. In many ways, marketers are 21st century storytellers – not at all dissimilar from novelists or journalists or film directors. Thanks to their visual nature, presentations are one of the best ways to package important ideas in a compelling way. If you can create a response within someone, you motivate them to take action. This in and of itself is more powerful than simply directing them to take that same action on your own.

If you can master the format of presentations in particular, you become more than just a marketer. You become an orchestra conductor – only it isn’t instruments that you’re in control of, it’s the emotions and feelings churning inside your target audience right now.


About The Author

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland based digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.

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