3 tips for handling emotion during a speech or interview

These tactics can help you (or your client) better control and manage emotions.

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For example, I work with more than 100 burn survivors each year. They have a story to tell, but telling their stories about barely escaping a house fire or surviving brutal domestic abuse isn’t easy.

Another client, a zookeeper, could barely contain her grief when discussing the death of one of her beloved animals.

Another recent client chose virtual schooling for her children and got upset when asked whether her neighbors thought her decision was strange. It’s no wonder she got emotional—few things will make people more defensive than having their choices as parents questioned by outsiders.

So what should you do when you find yourself getting emotional during a speech or media interview? Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Ask yourself whether it’s OK to be emotional. Most audiences understand why a burn survivor might get emotional when discussing his or her injury. Exhibiting emotion may feel uncomfortable, but in some cases, it may actually enhance your delivery. So don’t automatically try to squelch your emotion just because you’re embarrassed by it.

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