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How to Deliver a TED Talk: Hit That Emotional Trigger

“The important thing is that your point must trigger a range of audience emotions.”

How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremey Donovan, page 32

I suppose today’s message has more to do with word choice than anything else. It leads to my often-shared advice in live seminars that “enthusiasm sells.”

Too often you lull yourself into a boring state of affairs simply because you find yourself doing repetitious work day after day. You get into a rut and your attitude becomes one of  “business as usual.” After all, how many honeymoons in Sandals can you really get excited about? After planning a dozen or so, they all begin to look and sound the same, right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Click on the book to grab your own copy of "How to Deliver a TED Talk"

Click on the book to grab your own copy of “How to Deliver a TED Talk”

This is where we separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the professionals from the amateurs.

This is not a hobby of yours, unless it happens to be a hobby of yours. For the next few hundred words I will assume this is not a hobby, and helping people make better travel decisions happens to be your profession… the way you finance your meal ticket.

The opposite inference to today’s quote is to bore your audience to tears with a poor choice of words coupled with less-than-attractive body language.  I know this does not define you, but I am afraid there are quite a few suppliers of service out there who wrote the book on being boring (Too many!).

The secret to bringing out positive emotions in others is two-fold: First, you must look and sound excited yourself. This cannot be faked. It must be genuine or you will soon be categorized as just another sales buffoon. To you this might just be another vacation to Banff. To your client, it is the biggest event of their life and one that they have been looking forward to for over five years. Don’t even think about raining on their parade.

The second secret involves your choice of words. Which grabs you more? “That is a nice place to visit,” or “That is a great place to spend a few hours with your honey.”

“I think you would like that museum,” or “That museum is a must-see. Be sure you plan enough time to see the entire King Tut exhibit. I have heard nothing but rave reviews.”

More positive examples of enthusiastic word choice:

“I am so jealous. You are going to love that hotel!”

“Rafting through the Grand Canyon? I can’t think of anything more life changing!”

“Be sure you pack extra batteries. You don’t want to miss any mind-blowing shots of the Serengeti.”

You get the picture. The words you choose trigger client emotions. And after all, isn’t that what your job is all about?


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