You may have heard the term “emotional intelligence” before, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ve never thought about emotional intelligence as it relates to the workplace. However, how you relate to others in the workplace and how you comprehend – and interact with – the emotions of your coworkers in the office can have a large impact on your business success. If there’s one area where emotional intelligence is most crucial in the workplace, it is undoubtedly the presentation.
When giving a presentation, how you relate to and interact with your audience is just as important as the content you deliver. If you want to step up your presentation game, honing in on your emotional intelligence and creating an emotionally intelligent presentation is a great way to do that.
What Is an Emotionally Intelligent Presentation?
An emotionally intelligent presentation is a presentation that takes into consideration how your audience will feel as you present on your given topic.
By tuning in to the emotions of your audience, you can better tailor your delivery and content to that which will be most effective in helping you connect with your audience and deliver your point home.
Focus on Putting Out Good Energy
It’s natural to get nervous about your presentation. Public speaking is an anxiety-inducing task for most people. However, an emotionally intelligent person knows that their demeanor will have a ripple effect on their audience.
An emotionally intelligent presenter channels that anxiety and turns it into excitement. By transforming that nervous energy into something positive, your passion and hard work becomes more evident and your audience will be more engaged in what you have to say.
Consider the Knowledge Level of Your Audience
An emotionally intelligent presentation is all about speaking to your audience on their level. A large part of that is assessing your audience’s level of knowledge about the topic at hand.
If your audience is very knowledgeable about the subject on which you’re presenting and you present the information in basic terms and over-explain concepts, you will bore your audience and possibly even come off as condescending, as if you’re trying to “speak down” to them. On the flip side, if your audience has little knowledge about the topic and you are presenting on complex issues with lots of technical jargon, they will feel overwhelmed and disengaged from the presentation because it’s too far over their heads.
By considering the knowledge of your audience, you can better tailor your presentation to be interesting and engaging to ensure an audience that is both entertained and educated.
Pay Attention to Pace
I am a notoriously fast talker, a habit that is exacerbated by nerves. When I give a presentation, a considerable amount of my time goes into rehearsing and practicing speaking at a patient, measured pace.
An emotionally intelligent presentation is one that gives the audience time to absorb the material and digest the issues at hand. When you present, the audience is at your mercy. If you speak too quickly, no one is going to stop you to ask you to slow down; your audience will instead just miss out on many of your important points. Practice speaking at a measured pace when you present, even if that means writing yourself reminders in your notes to slow down and pause after main points so your audience has time to absorb and think about the material.
With a bit of practice and mindfulness, you, too, can give emotionally intelligent presentations. By being cognizant of the emotions of your audience, you set yourself up to give a presentation that is dynamic and effective, while conveying your preparation and passion for the subject.