Your Mother knew that Common Sense is Not So Common, and when Speaking you must always remember this Gem.

If you want to increase your effectiveness in having people take the action you recommend, skip the brain and go straight to the heart.

Facts and Data are Great
Emotions lead to Sales

While you think that if you present a strong and logical case, people will act on your recommendations, the reality is that very few will take action based on hard data. In fact, when you present an endless stream of data supporting your case, many people will begin to see you as justifying your position instead of seeing you as someone who is there to help them.


Let’s take the simple example of purchasing a new car. You have made the decision that you need (or more likely simply want) a new car, and you visit a dealership.

While wandering around the lot, a car catches your eye. Your heart skips a few beats, and your hands instinctively start gripping the imaginary steering wheel in front of you.

A well meaning sales associate approaches you, noticing that you seem interested. The knowledgable young man starts explaining all of the incredible features of the vehicle, it’s safety rating, something about some mechanical stuff you could really care less about…. oh and then there is the trade in allowance, the special dealer incentive, and the financing options.

In your mind, you start with

After a minute of  details your Mind has moved to
Come on, just let me take it for a drive, I just want to test drive it

And after less than 2 minutes you may already be at
Shut up and leave me alone, I’m going to find someone who will let me to drive the car.

It happens that fast.  It can be difficult to connect to peoples emotions, but once they are connected it is easy to lose that opportunity.

I will never forget one of my own car buying experiences, where the sale rep knew EXACTLY what to do… I was a young twenty-something, it was Spring, and I was looking for a new car, something kind of sporty. And there it was…. a sharp looking, light grey Chevy Cavalier Z-24 Convertible.

All I remember hearing from the Sales Rep is “Oh that’s a hot car. You will love the throaty sound she makes. Here are the keys”.

By nature I am a very analytical person, but 45 minutes later (after a 15 minute test drive) that car was mine.

I couldn’t have told you what the estimated MPG was, the horsepower, or pretty much anything else…. but it was a hot car, sounded great, and handled like a charm.  The best part was… I lived in central Canada at the time, where the winters are… well, unbearably cold, and a convertible made absolutely NO sense. But it was mine, and I LOVED IT!!

How many times have you made a purchase, based strictly on Logic and Common Sense?

People act based on Emotion

They MAY justify and rationalize using whatever amount of common sense and logic they have, but the DECISION is made in the heart. When Speaking and Selling, assuming common sense will lead your customer or audience to action will lead you to dismal performance.

For those of you who are in Corporate Executive and Management roles, this desire to appeal to common sense can have devastating results. Have you ever sat through a corporate presentation where the presenter provided minute after boring minute of details? What if that Executive had tugged at your heart strings, helped you believe why it was important for you to make a change? Would you have reacted more positivity to the message being delivered?

In his book “The Little Red Book of Selling” Jeffrey Gitomer talks about “It’s not hard sell it’s heart sell.”  By connecting to the emotional aspect of your audience or customer you will trigger them to take action.

Most Speakers, Sales Professionals, and Corporate Executives spend far too much time on the details and not enough on the emotional “WHY”.

As you consider changes to how you present:

  • How well do you connect emotionally to the people you are speaking to?
  • What stories are you using to help establish an emotional link between your audience and your desired end result?
  • Does your Personal Brand help them they like you, trust you, and want to follow you?