There are two basic classes of emotion: pain and pleasure. Determine how you’d like people to feel at various points in your presentation. Where would you like them to feel happy? To cringe? To be inspired?

Ask “why” questions to unearth your big idea’s emotional appeal. For example, if you’re requesting funding to pay for cloud storage, start by saying, “Why do we need to buy cloud storage?” Your answer may be “to facilitate data sharing with colleagues in remote locations.” So then ask, “Why do we need to facilitate data sharing with colleagues in remote locations?”

Eventually you’ll get to the human beings whose lives will be affected by your idea, and that’s where you’ll discover your emotional appeal: Maybe you need cloud storage “to help those remote colleagues coordinate disaster relief efforts and save lives.”

Once you know what that hook is, use words or phrases that have emotional weight to them—like “saves lives” in the earlier cloud example. Tell personal stories with conviction and describe not just what people did, but how they felt.

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