Making the emotional case

President Obama’s key influencing strategy for convincing the audience of the need for tougher gun control laws in the US was appealing to shared values, the values of parents in the audience and in front of television and YouTube screens.

And it is interesting to see how he did it; taking time to let the point sink in, emotionally. The President elaborated about the process of raising a child, letting it separate from you with pain in your heart. In the end he came back to that emotion by mentioning the first name of each child that was killed. If he had just put in the elevator pitch “we need to protect our children”, it would not have been convincing. We have heard it too many times from too many politicians.

The same is true in business presentations: just giving the sound bite is often not enough to let the audience feel the point you want to make.