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Persuasion: Inspire Them First, Inform Them Later

January 19, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Human Resources, Marketing & Sales, Training

By Susan Trivers

You’re an expert who knows how to get the work done, generate results and  make a difference to your customers and your colleagues. Naturally you want to  share how you do it all. But wait–your audience may not be ready for the  ‘How’.

Successful persuasion taps into people’s emotions and inspires them to  imagine a better situation. This is true whether you’re marketing IT products,  professional services or a cultural shift within your company. To be a  persuasive speaker you’ll need to lead the audience to an image of  perfection–or at least, improvement. Until they feel it, they won’t be ready to  do it.

Focus on the “what” and the “why”

In any speaking setting that is not training or a workshop, your presentation  must focus on “what” and “why.” The “what” is the action(s) they should take to  reach their goal. The “why” makes it clear that the “what” will help them reach  their goal.

Let’s look at an example: You are responsible for leading a major change of  behavior in your company. You could just lay down the law and threaten  punishment for anyone who resists. That isn’t likely to generate a favorable  response. You could offer a carrot–do this and you’ll get a reward. That’s also  a short-term approach that could lead to offering ever-increasing carrots.

First describe the behavioral change

The best approach is to describe the behavioral change, which is the “what.”  Describe it in many dimensions-how it will affect their daily actions, and also  their feelings, expectations and interactions. Then talk about the “why”–why is  the new behavior valuable to them as individuals; you might eventually talk  about why the change is valuable to the company as a whole, but whatever you do,  don’t start with that! People always put their self-interest first and  foremost.

The “what” and the “why” are more than enough for a one hour speech or  presentation. Give your audience of employees or colleagues time to savor the  image you’ve helped them picture. Encourage them to keep thinking about it.  Encourage them to add details to the picture; to discuss their visions with  their peers; to move from today and tomorrow to 6 months or a year ahead.

Avoid topics such as “5 Ways to Do X” or “The 7 Factors of Success” or “Three  Steps to Learning Y.” Instead, speak about benefits to the audience: “Success  Comes to Those Who Envision Change” or “You’re the Leader, So Lead.” “Success”  or “Leadership” are the “what” and the rest of your speech is the “why.”

Persuade first on an emotional level

People aren’t ready to be instructed how to do new behaviors until they’ve  fully internalized and integrated the new vision. It’s no different than the way  you might approach a new sport–if you can’t imagine how much you’ll enjoy  playing golf, you won’t learn how to play golf no matter how effective the  instructor. Your “What and Why” speech or presentation is the warm-up that makes  them ready for the “How.”

Persuade first on an emotional level and instruct later on an intellectual  level.

Business speakers who confidently engage their audiences meet their business  and personal objectives. Promotion? More revenue? Elite clients? You increase  your likelihood of success with high-quality business presentation skills. Susan  Trivers consults with and coaches executives and managers to persuade their  audiences to take actions across the spectrum of business goals. Learn more  about how you can become a great speaker at http://www.susantrivers.com and http://www.greatspeakingcoach.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6671107

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