Do you think of yourself as a persuasive presenter?
If you are a trainer or educator, perhaps not. If you present project updates, maybe not.
But you should.
As a colleague of mine, T.J. Walker, says in a course of his on persuasive speaking, “Even if you’re a Classics professor, you want to persuade your students that the material is important enough to pay attention to, so they’ll pass the test.”
And as a student of mine, Corporate Training Coordinator Kathy Loch Klein, wrote me after taking my High-Persuasion Presentations Program,
“It worked! I just wanted to tell you that the techniques you shared in the Persuasion classes last month really worked wonders. Yesterday, I did a revised version of a training that I have done more than 70 times. I upgraded the slides using the techniques you taught. Although I presented the same statistics and information, the audience was visibly (and audibly) more attentive when I paired the stats with persuasive photos. Thank you again.”
If you present project updates, you should at least be trying to persuade your audience that you accomplished a lot and that what you accomplished matters.
So every presentation has an element of persuasion.
Some presentations should be more persuasive than others
Of course, some presentations should be mostly persuasive. Sales presentations are an obvious example. But other presentations also fit this model:
- Inspiring an audience to donate time or money to a cause (If you want to inspire an audience, read this blog post, “Speaking to Inspire.”)
- Persuading a team to make changes
- Asking for approval for a proposal
- Persuading people to take an action
What makes a presentation persuasive?
Persuasion is a big topic and a huge amount has been written about it. I can’t include everything in this blog post, but here is a good outline to start with:
- Understand the problems your audience is experiencing and show your empathy
- Provide a solution that’s useful to your audience
- Express the cost of inaction (or taking the wrong action)
- Tell stories or case studies so people know that others have successfully used the suggested course of action
- Use images to convey the emotions you want your audience to feel; images are more persuasive than words
- Clearly explain what action you want people to take
- Be enthusiastic. Do you believe in what you’re saying?
- Practice until you can deliver your presentation in a way that engages your audience
How to learn more about persuasive presenting
What’s your top tip for presenting persuasively?
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