Wouldn’t you just love it if you could combine your voice, your body and your message into one hot communication tool?
And what if you could leverage this tool to influence your team to go the extra mile, convince prospects to consistently choose you over the competition or just sell more of your goods and services?
Well you can! And I can help you become that Top-Level Persuasive Speaker I’m talking about.
One of my all-time favourite things to coach or teach is public speaking.
And in my Top-Level Speaking programme one of the things I enjoy most is helping you transform from a “So-So” Speaker into a Super Persuasive Speaker!
You’ve heard me say that if you’re in business, any business, you need public speaking skills. But the big money comes when you become a persuasive speaker.
When you can persuade (and please don’t confuse it with deceive!) people to understand, accept and buy into your ideas, concept and positions, so many doors open for you. And when you support this with the right processes and systems, the rewards are incredible.
By now I know you’re asking: How do I become a persuasive speaker?
Well, it’s a journey…one that is best undertaken with a co-pilot to guide you and keep you on track to your ultimate goal. So let’s take the first step together.
Here are 5 quick tips on how to become a persuasive speaker. They are by no means comprehensive, but they will help you get started and then you can decide how far you want to go.
1. Get clear on why you need to be a persuasive speaker
There are many reasons why anybody would want to be a persuasive speaker and that’s why you should be very clear why YOU want to be a persuasive speaker.
Here are 3 that are relevant to business life:
If you run your own business or hold a leadership position in an organization, you already know that leadership is all about influence. For me, influence is how you move people from resistance-to compliance-to commitment. This makes effective communication, especially the ability to speak persuasively, an essential leadership skill.
When you sell your products and services, especially services, your critical persuasive purpose is to help people recognize what’s important to them. You need to give them relevant information to make decisions and then you need to arouse their emotions, which motivates them to action. Persuasive speaking will do it for you every time!
As you work with your clients to help them solve problems, you will often meet resistance to the very solutions which can help them cut costs or make money. With persuasive speaking skills, you can reduce or completely remove this resistance.
2. Understand the 3 indispensable pillars of persuasion
Many of you mistakenly rely on logic alone to be persuasive but this is not enough.
You need the following 3-prong approach:
1. Fact – a combination of truthful and accurate information supported by logical argument
2. Emotion – how you make your audience feel about your position or point of view
3. Credibility – your audience must view you as honest, believable, trustworthy and knowledgeable
3. Know how to get your audience to accept your position
If you’re going to be a persuasive speaker, how you connect with and impact your audience is of critical importance. Your audiences will be different based on what’s your position, your job title, why you’re persuading and a host of other reasons.
However, the following steps can be applied in almost every case:
1. Carefully analyse your audience – there are many ways to do this but the more you know your audience the better you can connect with and influence them.
2. Provide evidence which supports your position – general information on the subject is not enough. The information must support your case.
3. Generate emotional commitment to your view – Yes...this is important because people act based on how they feel about an issue and not just because you provided the facts.
4. Select the best "persuasive speaker" approach
The best persuasive approach depends on where the people you are seeking to influence are on the point of view you are sharing. Knowing where they are comes from extensive audience analysis.
Here are the three positions your audience are likely to take and some suggestions on how to deal with one:
- If the audience agrees with your point of view:
- Reinforce and strengthen this agreement
- Acknowledge opposing views and present evidence to support yours
- Give your audience solid reasons for agreement
- Bring passive belief up to active commitment
- Make a call to action
- If the audience is neutral or unconcerned:
- Convince the audience the issue affects them and is important to them
- If it’s a problem, show your audience how it relates to them and their lives
- Explain each solution and show how yours is the best alternative
- Present your side first, dispose any counter-arguments, restate yours
- Make a call to action
- If the audience opposes your views:
- Strive to have the audience recognize the merits of your position and reconsider their own view
- Be respectful and sensitive about the beliefs of others
- Establish common ground, focusing on the facts on which you both agree
- Don’t backdown from your position
- Present your message fairly, not trampling on the feelings of your audience
- Make a call to action
5. Organise and present your persuasive message
An effective way to do this is using Professor Alan Monroe 5-step motivated speech structure which follows the way people think:
1. Attention – You powerfully grab the audience attention so that they can't wait to hear what follows next.
2. Need – in this step you describe the issue, need or problem, explaining why it’s important to your listeners. Remember to include the specifics – facts, examples, etc.
3. Satisfaction – this is where you present YOUR solution. Support it with evidence and address any objections or opposing solutions if necessary.
4. Visualisation – Create a picture of what future conditions will be like if your solution is accepted. Alternatively, you can create a picture of the future if your solution or proposal is NOT accepted. Or, for maximum impact, you can show both pictures. Use vivid descriptions and strong imagery.
5. Action – this is when you tell the audience exactly what you want them to do and call on them to take some specific action.
Your next "persuasive speaker" step
Becoming a persuasive speaker is one of the most important communication skills you can acquire for yourself and your business.
I’ve shared five tips to start you off with links to even more help so you can really nail it. Your next step is to take these tips and write a speech that ticks each box. Then practice it on your team or a group of friend or at your Toastmaster Club.
When you do, you would have placed yourself above the competition the next time out.
If you think your persuasive speaking skill are already "all that and a pack of nuts" then use these tips as a checklist to make sure you're at least covering the basics.
Whichever it is, you need to act now! You and your business need you to be a Top-Level Persuasive Speaker!