Have you ever watched a Hollywood blockbuster without music?
Me neither. Music triggers emotion and great theme music triggers great emotion. Think about ET, think about Titanic, think about the Gladiator!
As a public speaker you have the power to unleash similar tsunamis of emotion – but without music. Your speeches can turn into Hollywood blockbusters without music. Thanks to pathos.
In Old Greek pathos means pain. Your audience must suffer. The deeper your audience shoots down on a roller coaster of emotions the bigger the persuasive impact. The other day I rode the Shambhala, Europe’s highest roller coaster in Port Aventura. 78 meters down in an almost free fall. That’s exactly how I often feel in my trainings.
When a guy said, It smells like, it smells like… thief, we shot down during his painful pause. When suddenly a breast cancer took away a beloved mother, we shot down during a painful pause. When a woman started her speech saying, I killed someone, we shot down during her painful pause.
When brutal emotional transparency meets long, painful pauses, that’s when Quentin Tarantino gets jealous. That’s when you don’t need background music. That’s when your speech turns into a Hollywood blockbuster without music.
Emotion is a double-edged sword. It cuts through our heart with pain; it cuts through our heart with joy. Just like there are dramatic movies and funny movies. I learned though that painful emotions connect much more with your audience than joyful emotions. Therefore, make sure that, at times, you respect the original meaning of pathos.
Many of us are absolutely convinced that they should never reveal their inner self to others. No pain, no weaknesses, no struggle, no regrets, no failure, no envy, no deception, no loss, no shame. No feeling at all! And what’s the result? An unbearably boring movie, a movie more boring than Fifty Shades of Grey.
You’re the screenplay writer; you are the director of your own movies. Add pathos to your speeches, add pain to your presentations and you’ll launch rhetorical blockbusters. Blockbusters without music.