We need to be highly persuasive to get what we want and need out of life. We need to convince people to like us, buy our widget, and hire us for jobs and gigs. Especially in our very competitive environment. And guess what? That’s hard to do for nearly everyone!
Perhaps you offer an exceptional service or product, but people don’t know it. How can you explain how it’s going to benefit them in a way that guarantees they know it’s a great fit for them?
Persuasive people–how did they get that way?
You know some persuasive people in your life. They’re cool as a cucumber, almost all the people like them immediately, and they have a fantastic verbal brand. They know how to answer difficult questions thrown at them and they can talk their way out of a paper bag.
Were they born with these skills? They sure would like you to think so. But not, they learned the techniques and practiced them throughout their lives.
With persuasive speaking skills, your audience will be influenced to act, believe, or think your way. You’ll get them to like you, and do what you need them to do. You’re going to use these skills to help them.
I am going to show you these techniques. The techniques to getting what you want by being more persuasive. The convincing people you know already know how to be persuasive speakers. They’ve worked on it and likely continue to do so.
Make sure you are not using these tricks for evil!
Heed the following advice to get to the handshake faster.
Your Tone of Voice.
We need to have an open and relaxed vocal mechanism. Not only does it make your voice authoritative, credible & warm but it also keeps you “on the ball”. You don’t get nervous, you don’t forget what you were going to say.
You’ll be highly effective and able to tap into the knowledge that’s in your brain. I have some awesome relaxation exercises for you. 1 session with me is usually all it takes.
Use a varied intonation pattern. You’ll see this all over my twitter & my blog. Pick the words that contain the most information & make them longer & louder. Pick the words that provide very little information and make them shorter & quieter.
Here’s a video about intonation & its impact on persuasive speaking.
3 steps to persuasive intonation.
Let’s try this sentence here:
There is a meeting at 4 on Tuesday.
- Always use contractions when speaking. There’s a general misconception out there that shoulda coulda woulda’s are bad. Au contraire mon ami! They are highly effective when used correctly. In this case, we say: There’s a meeting…
- Pick the words that give the most info. Meeting 4 Tuesday. You could just say that & be a more effective & persuasive speaker. But to make it smoother proceed to the next step.
- Make the high information words longer and the other “grammar glue” much shorter & quieter. There’sameeeeetingatfoooouuuuronTuuueeeesday.
Now try this with: I’m the right person for the job because I rock the planet (use your own reasons, of course!)
It’ll look like this: umth’rightpersnferth’jab/ cuzarackth’planet.
Try this with all of your core messages. Make sure to record yourself. This is how you get what you want.
No Ands, Ifs or Buts.
This goes along with the above tip to reduce grammar glue. I want you to literally replace conjunctions with periods. (Conjunctions are words that conjoin sentences like “and”, “if”, “but”, etc. I know you knew that already)
Make sure you know the techniques to articulate your thoughts into words and you’ll be spot on!
When I was in 2nd grade Sister Thomasine encouraged us to write longer sentences (In first grade it was all: Spot is on the floor. Jack is sitting.) So we all got used to gluing short sentences together to create complex sentences. “Spot is on the table and Jack is sitting.”
Down with complex sentences! They’re confusing! They’re boring! They go on and on! No directness here. Using concise direct language will lead you to get what you want.
To be highly persuasive you need to have an open body. Don’t cross midline (an imaginary line down the center of your body.) That means don’t cross your arms or legs or ankles. I want you to open your arms. And when you’re standing keep your legs shoulder-width apart.
This makes you more relaxed (if you’re a midline crosser it will take a bit of getting used to but stick with it!) It’ll make other people more relaxed & open in your company. You can’t persuade ‘em if you’re making them nervous.
Keep your butt at the back of the chair. For real. The edge of the seat is reserved for your listener.
Don’t use 10 words when you can use 5 to get your point across. Try not to over-explain. Give the crux of the message and let others tell you what’s missing by allowing them to ask questions. This takes courage, people! Here’s an article with detailed steps to being concise when speaking.
Use Strong, Active Wording.
Remove undermining words like: “like”, “um”, “I’m just…” “actually” (when people say, “actually” I’m prepared for a fib. A bit of a yarn may be upcoming.)
And, just like in writing, try to avoid passive sentences.
Don’t end a story, presentation, or idea with, “that’s all I have to say,” or “I don’t know how to explain it…” or something to that effect. You’ve just completely undermined what you said previously. Please don’t do that when you’re public speaking especially!
Never start interactions verbally or in writing with “I just wanted to…” Wasted time right there. And it’s undermining to you. Definitely not going to get what you want that way.
Your face should be a blank canvas. Get rid of stress lines in your brow, and those deep nasolabial folds with relaxation exercises and massage. Make sure your forehead is flat and without lines. Once again I implore you: Take a session with me or one of my coaches and we will teach you to get rid of them.
Smile with your face & your eyes when you’re using humor (which I recommend highly!) and when you’re greeting people or meeting them for the first time.
Your face underscores your message like italics & bold does for your written message.
When you speak persuasively you can change the world
If you could, how would you change the world? Whether it’s improving the education system, raising money for charity or supporting a local political campaign, persuasive speaking gets you to communicate effectively to achieve your goals. Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Follow these steps, practice them using your recording app on your phone. Let me know if you get what you want!