Do you remember when you were born? I don’t. But my mom told me that, at the beginning, my eyes were closed most of the time. I witnessed the same with my son Alvaro. When we are born, the one sense we hardly use is our visual sense. Yet, when we are adult communicators, the one and only sense we tend to trigger in people’s minds is the visual sense.
The next presentation you attend – pay attention! Will the speaker trigger your sense of hearing? (I know you hear the speaker. I don’t mean that. I refer to the content itself with phrases like, I still hear the sound of the mighty waves.) Will the speaker trigger your sense of taste, touch or smell,? I already know the answer. No! The speaker won’t do that. He or she will only talk visually. This is what we do, and it’s a big mistake. We miss out massively on the emotional side (pathos) because senses trigger emotions. Just think about reaching into a slimy green liquid.
Increase your emotional impact by talking more to the other four senses. And of all the five senses the one that intrigues me the most is the olfactory sense. Smells let my imagination go wild. Even the most hidden memories come to light.
Smell for yourself! While you read the phrases, pay attention to your brain. Doesn’t it go wild?
The Roman spa water smelled like rotten eggs.
Nobody in the room could escape from that scent of innocence.
Don’t you love the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans?
When I entered the terminal, a smell of sweet perfume hit me.
My father always used Old Spice.
I entered the room and it smelled like, it smelled like… work.
He poured Davidoff Cool Water on his smelly socks.
Olives, goat cheese, fresh tomatoes – what an aroma!
These numbers stink.
The smell of virginity faded away.
Trigger the olfactory sense in your audience; speak to their nose! Your emotional impact will increase – even with their eyes closed.