To effectively communicate your ideas in a persuasive way you need to stand out, connect emotionally with your audience, be succinct, and be passionate. Carmine Gallo knows what it takes to deliver effective presentations, he wrote the popular book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.  According to Gallo the first and foremost ingredient an effective presenter needs is passion.

For listeners to buy into whatever you are presenting they need to connect with something meaningful. When you have intense, positive feelings about the thing your are presenting, when you truly believe in, and find meaning in, what you are presenting, that will be contagious to your audience. Gallo talks about Tony Hsieh, the founder of the online shoe company Zappos. Hsieh is not as passionate about shoes as he is about making both his customer and his staff happy. His passion for spreading happiness is the driver behind his company that is famous for outstanding customer service and a fantastic place to work. When he speaks about his business and his purpose it’s inspiring.

Researchers found that one of the crucial factors that influence the decisions of investors in start-up companies is the passion that’s communicated by the founders of those companies. In fact, in a 15-minute presentation of a start-up seeking funding, it was the passion of the presenter, rather than the education, experience, or age of the entrepreneur, that influenced the prospective investors the most.

So if you are passionate about what you are presenting then you are ahead. You will likely inspire and infect your listeners with the energy and passion that consumes you. Be authentic and your positive emotions will be contagious.Not sure what you are passionate about? Ask yourself “What makes my heart sing?” Your answer will highlight something about the core of who you are—communicating that thing will be the most effective message you can deliver.

But what if you are not passionate about what you have to present? Well you have to work at the passion aspect. Listeners are savvy and can pick up on the fact that you really are not sold out on the thing you are presenting—if they think you’re not passionate then why on earth should they? It may be a mistake to believe that you can influence and inspire people by presenting a topic that you don’t love, that’s not part of your identity. But you can develop a passionate delivery if you commit yourself to really buy into and love the thing you are presenting. If you don’t, why are you trying to convince others? You have to be authentic and in love with your subject or your presentation, and you, will be less than moving. Impressive sounding quotes and stats and images are not going to cut it if you don’t have passion.