red Red is the first color in your rainbow. As a speaker you immediately connect to the emotions of your audience when you tell stories about yourself or others. When a speaker says “I was disappointed”  each member of the audience will connect to that emotion in their own emotional catalogue of past experience and you will create the color red from the word disappointed. Red is a color of the past. Even if you say “I am disappointed”,  the audience still connects to a past emotion they have experienced. We know audiences love to hear stories about success or failure which connect them to their own emotions and an industry of Storytelling coaches, like my friend Bernadette Martin, has grown up in the past few years to offer advice on using Storytelling in communication. Revealing your vulnerability and personal secrets captivates TED audiences and it is no mystery why one of the most watched TEDX talks is called The Power of Vulnerability. Stories of suffering and healing build huge audiences on TED. But you also can use emotions to generate humor. Comedians mine their anger or suffering to write jokes and sketches which emotionally connect with an audience. Or you can connect by expressing your love of something – your passion for ice cream or chocolate or fast cars or gardening which your audience will immediately connect to an emotion of pleasure they have experienced.

To recap: the color Red comes from stories and emotions of pleasure, romance, love, anger, success, failures, secrets, passion, fears, healings, suffering, mysteries, tears…Red links audiences to the PAST.

Warning!!! As anyone who has spilt a bottle of red wine or sat on a strawberry in white jeans knows, red is a color that spreads and stains quickly. (My image tries to show the effect of a strawberry or red wine stain) Wallowing in emotions will turn many people off and create a disconnect. You must be aware of the emotions you use when speaking to stop them from overpowering your audience. Just as some people are afraid of blood, others are reluctant to explore their own emotions, and so your rainbow needs a range of rainbow colors to satisfy all. I will offer more tips and examples on using red once I have presented the other colors a rainbow speaker uses…

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