Negative Moods Might Make You a Better Speaker, Study Says

By Joey Asher

Category: Other

It’s been one of those weeks. You’re feeling low. You’re burned out. You’re ready to give up and become a professional fisherman. And you’re certainly not looking forward to giving that presentation tomorrow to the board of directors.

At least you can take heart in knowing that you may be about to give the best presentation of your life.That’s one surprising implication from a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

According to the study, our ability to think and communicate clearly actually increases when we’re in a negative mood. Apparently, negative moods make our minds more attuned, more attentive, and better able to communicate, says Prof. Joseph Forgas, of the University of New South Wales.

“This supports the idea that mood states are evolutionary signals about how to deal with threatening situations. That is, a negative mood state triggers more systematic, more attentive, more vigilant information processing. By contrast, good moods signal a benign, non-threatening environment where we don’t need to be so vigilant,” said Professor Forgas.

So next time you’re feeling low and you’re dreading giving a speech, be glad about it. You may be about to knock ’em dead.

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Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, or on the web at


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