The 5 Features of Emotional Intelligence

VirtualSpeech Newsletter #1


Curated content on productivity and soft skills from around the web, to help you succeed in your professional and personal life.

In this newsletter edition, we include the following:

  • 🎬 Video analysis of Jack Ma storytelling
  • 📚 Professional development articles
  • 📈 Productivity articles
  • 📝 Ask Me Anything (AMA)

Video Analysis 🎬

Watch this short video of Jack Ma storytelling that we've created. Read the analysis and storytelling tips below the video.

1. Be authentic

For storytelling to work it must be done in a way that is authentic. It may even require you to be vulnerable and share your challenges and failures. This type of storytelling is intensely brave and powerful.

Ma often tells the story of his many failures trying to find a job. He happily shares his failures with the audience to reinforce the point he was no different to us when he started out

When you tell your stories authentically and share the things you have learnt, you’ll build an emotional connection with people and develop a relationship with them.

2. Why should the audience listen

The audience will listen if they think they can benefit from your story in some way. With Jack Ma, we are hoping to better understand how he became a successful leader and if there are any tips we can use ourselves.

Engage your audience and tell them something that they are interested in. If there are no interesting elements in your story, you will lose the audience’s attention.

3. Keep the story simple

Good stories are easy to understand and follow along with. A simple story is also easier to listen to, because the overall lesson is easy to grasp and summarise. No one likes a story to be complex and if it is, you’ll quickly confuse your audience.

4. Practice telling stories

Jack Ma has been interviewed hundreds (thousands?) of times and told these same stories many times too. Practice is the only way to get the timing and level of information correct, by judging the reactions of the audience.

Practice as much as you can, in front of a mirror, to your friends, in virtual reality. Practice, practice, practice.

5. Connect with the audience

Making the stories relatable to the people watching is a great way to connect with the audience. You can also interact with the audience (ask questions, get people to raise hands after a questions, etc.) or use humour as Ma does.

6. Allow the audience to visualise your story

Ma usually tells stories from this personal life. He’s an expert at painting a picture of what he was feeling at the time of the story and includes details to help you visualise them.

This is one of the key advantages of telling a story from your personal life, you’ll find it much easier to paint a picture of the events of the story and any necessary surrounding detail.

7. Monitor your audience

This is where eye contact comes in useful. By constantly monitoring your audience, you’ll quickly learn:

  • If your stories are having an impact
  • Whether you need to speed up your story
  • If your humour is working

Professional development articles 📚

Speaking at TED automatically ups your authority and cements you as an expert in your industry. Start taking the journey to TED by reading these three helpful road signs.


There's no escaping meetings in the workplace and they can be either productive or wasteful, but with these tips, every meeting can be effective.


It has been suggested that emotional intelligence accounts for 67% of the abilities needed to be a successful leader and is twice as important as technical proficiency or IQ. This article reviews the top 5 features of emotional intelligence.


You want or need to get change going within your organization, but how do you get started? Learn ways to facilitate change.


The World Economic Forum (WEF) released The Future of Jobs report revealing the top 10 skills you’ll need by 2020.


Productivity skills articles 📈

Whether you naturally wake up feeling alert and productive or wake up with the brainpower of a zombie, these tips will help you transform your morning routine and set a positive tone that lasts the entire day.


We’re habitually chasing after quick answers, emails, the notification that pings into our attention… and all the time we’re doing this, we’re missing out on a fundamental and simple privilege – the time to Sit and Think.


We all have a lot on our plates. But one thing you may not be making time for that could be really beneficial, is reading. Reading comes with a ton of benefits, both in cognition and by exposing you to new ideas, research, and more to help you get ahead.


Your desire to make a mark and realize your potential has to overpower the buzz of your group chats. Your commitment to exceeding expectations has to win over your Instagram feed. Does it? Don't let your smartphone cost your fortune.


You'll need to do more than check off the boxes on your interviewer's list - you want the person you speak with to feel excited about making an offer, that means selling yourself to interviewers.


Ask Me Anything (AMA) 📝

Sophie Thompson

What is the best way to learn how to network?

"Networking is a skill and, like any other skill, you can learn it, practice, and improve until you are confident with your ability.

Once you’ve learnt the fundamental techniques, you’ll feel more confident attending events where you need to network, and the more of those functions that you attend, the more confident you will become, and the greater the relationships you will build.

To learn the tips and tricks of each, you could take an online course such as this one. The foundations of good networking lie in meeting other people and being genuinely interested in what they are saying. Ask meaningful questions that show you have been listening to the other person, and you’ll be on your way to forming a valuable connection. Offer your help or assistance where you can and people are more likely to reciprocate when you need help.

Above all, networking is about building real, authentic relationships with people so always keep that as your focus."


Have a question you'd like me to answer? Drop me a message here.



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