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The Art & Science of Presentations: 5 Strategies to Persuade

Categories: Persuasive Speaking

If you have a project you are passionate about, a new client you are trying to land, or a cause dear to your heart that you’d like others to take up, then it might be time to develop your skills of persuasion. It is possible to consistently deliver presentations that get the desired actions -- whatever they may be.

What is persuasion?

According to our friends at Merriam Webster: Persuasion: the act of causing people to do or believe something...

Persuasion is not the same as manipulation. Manipulation means getting your own way, even if you have to mislead or coerce others to do it.

Persuasion is helping others see that what you want is also in their best interests. You can do this by appealing to their emotions, by presenting a compelling case for the benefits of what you are proposing, or sometimes by presenting an even more compelling case for the negatives that will occur if they are not persuaded.

Here are 5 strategies for persuasion:

  1. Know your subject. The more preparation and practice, the better. You must have your facts checked and double-checked. An "alternative" fact can destroy your credibility fast!
  2. Know your audience. What are their beliefs, desires, motivations? The better you know your audience, the more you can appeal to what is important to them.
  3. Create urgency. Let people know why they should act now. Without a sense of urgency, your message can lose steam.
  4. Use visuals. Pictures are still worth a thousand words. Find compelling images that really get your point across. They can be inspiring, heart-breaking, or exciting.
  5. Build rapport. Use eye contact, humor, enthusiasm, and empathy.

Everett Dirksen once said: "The mind is no match with the heart in persuasion." Remember, energy and enthusiasm are contagious, especially if they are backed by facts and expertise. The most persuasive people are the ones with the courage of their convictions, and the willingness to share them openly, honestly and non-defensively.

Have I persuaded you? Persuasive speaking can be learned. Contact BRODY for more information on persuasive speaking skills.

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