Professional Presentation|Action Words: How do you want them to feel?

Posted by Bridget Beirne
November 5, 2013

Part of your professional presentation is knowing how you want your audience to feel.


Remember this little ditty from your younger days? This fantastically groovy clip introduced us to the power of verbs. Without doubt, generations have hummed this tune while taking English tests, writing papers,  or even just because it is so darn catchy!




Those action words can be a big help when it comes to discovering how you want your audience to FEEL. When you focus on how you want people to feel about your content, it informs every aspect of your presentation- body, voice, audience connection, confidence. Making specific choices about how you want your audience to feel is the difference between being good and great. 

Professional presentation 7As the song says, you're doing your thing- an action! The key is to be SPECIFIC about which action words you choose to use to inform your content. Ask yourself- how do I want my audience to FEEL about this information? Once you've done that, it's like a mental switch being flipped- your mind will start to think differently about how to deliver that content. And think how much more impactful it is when you decide you want to inspire your audience rather than just inform? To challenge rather than lecture? To warn rather than merely to tell?

Here's a quick list of a few action words to get you started. We'll be talking more about action words in the future. Until then, remember the power of those verbs, and see how your delivery is impacted by infusing your content with these ideas. You'll be changing how your audience feels in no time.

Action Words- what do you want to do to your audience? How do you want them to feel?

 To excite= I want them to feel excited.

To inspire=I want them to feel inspired.

To ignite=I want them to feel fired up!

To embolden=I want them to feel empowered!

To comfort=I want them to feel comforted.

To challenge=I want them to feel challenged!

To warn=I want them to be warned- to feel cautioned.

To assuage=I want them to feel calmed.

To persuade=I want them to feel won-over.

To question=I want them to feel questioned.

To encourage=I want them to feel encouraged.

To celebrate=I want them to celebrate my content- to feel great about it!



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