The Six Emotions that Impact Everyone

David Brooks


David Brooks, the 1990 World Champion of Public Speaking was in Toledo, Ohio last November, as the keynote speaker for the District 28 Toastmasters Fall Conference.

He talked about a trivia column he read years ago, in which the author – one L.M. Boyd, noted that every human being experiences six emotions:

          happiness           sadness         anger          surprise          disgust           fear

The gist of his presentation, relating to professional speakers, was this: The best way to connect with an audience – in person, over the airwaves or internet, is to share moments in your own life that elicit the emotion you want them to feel. When you share a moment that brought you happiness, most people will share that same sense of happiness as you tell it. As Mr. Brooks says, “They may not have been there for the moment, but they will be there for the emotion.”

How can and will you use L.M. Boyd’s wisdom in marketing your product, your service, or yourself as a public speaker?

Four Habits of Successful Speakers and Writers

In my decades as a writer, and my years as a speaker, I’ve learned that many of the habits of successful speakers and writers are the same.

There are nine habits of successful speakers, according to a recent article in Inc. Magazine. While I believe all nine are appropriate, I’ve chosen to focus on four.

The Four Habits

Care in Word Choices

Language tools such as alliteration, cadence, rhythm, and repetition are the hallmarks of masterful speakers. Great writers take advantage of the same tools, and realize that even straight fiction can have a rhythm, and even be poetic in its delivery.


Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address contained only 270 words, and is, to this day, one of the most powerful speeches ever given. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? Just nine paragraphs. Writers, take a hint from them when creating essays and query letters.

Rewrite for Clarity and Power

On December 8, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt rewrote a single sentence in his speech to the American people after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He changed “a date that will go down in world history” to “a date that will live in infamy.” Way more powerful, way more compelling. Writers, too, must weigh the power of every word in every sentence, if they wish to produce great works.

Learn From the Masters

Great speakers and great writers alike recognize their own limitations. They study and emulate the best of the best in their field or genre.