Projecting Emotion

TIP 52: Bring your audience through the broadest possible emotional range.

The most memorable speakers bring their audiences through the broadest possible emotional range. However, few novice speakers have ever taken the time to define what that range actually is. If you vaguely strive to connect on an emotional level, you are just as likely to hit as miss the mark.

Classifying emotion is not a trivial exercise. Two distinguished researchers, Paul Ekman and Robert Plutchik, have espoused overlapping but not identical theories. By studying facial microexpressions across cultures, Ekman identified six primary emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. Plutchik, in his visually memorable Wheel ...

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