Are Stories in Presentations Always Persuasive?

Using stories in presentations In today's video, I briefly discuss using stories in presentations to be more persuasive. The idea of using a story to help get your audience across the 'persuasion and influence' line is very common. Whether we're aiming to change people's mood, change their mind or get them to take real action. And when I talk about a story, I don't mean a cosy, fluffy tale, like someone reading to us in primary school or before we go to sleep! I simply mean using what I call 'humanity' to balance out facts, data, statistics. Most great presentations have...

To Be More Persuasive, Think About Power

Persuasion is a crucial part of our everyday communication, whether at work or socially. And have you ever considered that to be more persuasive, you need to think about power dynamics? How does feeling powerful play out, both for speaker and audience? To Persuade, Think about Power To uncover more about this, let's look at persuasion and power and how these interact with another key factor in our communication style: warmth and competence.  Psychologists consider warmth and competence to be universal principles. In social perception terms, they're key ways we evaluate people, particularly when we first meet them. So how does considering power...

Presentation Content Mistakes: Too Much Information

One of the most common presentation content mistakes I see is to give too much information. Depending on your perspective you might also call it too much value! It's very easy - even for experienced speakers - to equate information with value. And we can do this in every day interactions and meetings too – this sometimes urgent need we have, to show or share what we know. When we'd be better to step back and shut up! To allow space for the information to breathe and be absorbed...and maybe to let other people's voices be heard instead of ours. A...

5 Ways To Ask Questions That Your Audience Responds To

Do you give presentations, and worry about how to ask questions that your audience responds to? Have you ever sweated through silence, while a lot of faces stared blankly at you? It's probably happened at some point - it certainly has to me! Here are 5 ways to ask questions that your audience responds to: The opening of your talk I often encourage my clients to ask a question in their opening few sentences – because it is a good engagement technique. Some people nowadays say that it's cliched, but it's a cliche for a reason. So long as it's a...

Persuading Through Data And Stories – What We Can Learn From Nonprofits

Persuading Through Data And Stories Updated 2019 When your goal is to persuade your audience about an idea or argument, how much do you use stories? And by story, I just mean a human example - nothing long or elaborate needed. You've probably heard about storytelling in presentations, and there are many different resources to help you use them effectively. Persuading Through Data and Stories But in my work with clients I still often see reluctance to go beyond the data - and don't get me wrong: facts, logic, data, they're all crucial. But...numbers don't engage your audience unless they understand where the numbers...

Two Great Ways to Open your Talk, Especially if you’re Nervous

Make your Audience Think to Focus and Engage Them The opening of your presentation is often the part where you're most nervous or self-conscious. You're faced with pairs of eyes looking at you, the audience feels like it's one big stare, and you're not enjoying the sudden attention. What can you do to take some of the unwanted focus off yourself, and create an engaging, effective start to your speech? Here are two ways which really work: Make a statement Ask a question Keep reading, because I probably haven't convinced you that these ideas are all that startling or great just  yet! I'll explain why...

Easy Persuasion Technique to Try

Want to increase your persuasiveness? A recent large review* of 42 studies involving 22,000 people worldwide showed that when you use the technique I'm about to give you, it doubles the chances of someone saying yes to your request. I thought it could be highly applicable to some public speaking scenarios. The easy persuasion technique is: telling your listener that they're free to choose: they can accept or refuse your request or idea. It's known as BYAF - But You Are Free. Easy persuasion technique Why do you reckon this works? I think this succeeds in persuading others because when you say it,...

Want Greater Charisma When You Speak? Have Certainty

  When we speak in front of others, our goal is usually to get them to take action or think differently. We're offering them something -  ourselves and our message; an actual product or service. The audience will take their cue from us, and we need to be certain and congruent in our words, our body language and our energy to convince them. And the more we can do this, the more charismatic we'll be. Today we're going to look at using words to be more charismatic: if you're uncertain about your message, or lack confidence, you'll retreat to the perceived safety of...

Pitching your Idea: Clarity and Inspiration from Starbucks CEO

How's this for clarity of words and vision when doing a sales pitch? When CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz was pitching to investors in the late 80's the idea of setting up coffee shops in the U.S. he didn't focus on the coffee. He said this instead: "we're going to build a 3rd place between work and home." Now that's an inspiring, big-picture concept. If you pitch ideas or products for a living, can you come up with your own big-picture concept that gets you inspired? Because if you're not excited, it's hard for your prospects to get revved up about...