Persuasion is the art of convincing people to do what you want them to do. It is what makes us follow and believe in leaders and influencers. When it comes to business, persuasion is one of the most powerful tools. Whether you are selling a new product, educating your audience, or simply trying to motivate a group of people, the ability to give a persuasive presentation is an excellent skill. Here are some best practices for persuading your audience in your next presentation.
Establish Your Credibility
Start by establishing your credibility and character. Show your audience that you are someone who is knowledgeable on the subject, confident in your delivery, and committed to the welfare of others. This will help you gain the trust of your audience. After all, the first step in persuading an audience is to show them that you are someone they can trust and believe.
Connect with Your Audience
It is often said that people may not remember what you say but they will remember how you made them feel. In much the same way, people are moved to action by how a speaker makes them feel. Use personal stories and anecdotes that the audience can relate to in order to make an emotional connection. Consider your audience and tailor your message to meet their needs. Use metaphors and language that are familiar to your audience and make them feel as though you are speaking directly to them.
Engage Through Body Language
Your nonverbal communication is just as important as the words you speak. Positive body language draws people in and makes them more receptive to your ideas. Start by making eye contact with your audience. This is a great way to connect with your audience and make your presentation feel more personal. Other techniques include uncrossing your arms, leaning toward the audience when speaking, moving about the stage, using inflection in your voice, and emphasizing your points with hand gestures.
Get to the Point
Nobody is persuaded by long, boring, complex explanations. Rather, speak to your audience in a straightforward manner. Use language that they understand and make sure your points are clearly communicated. Your audience should be able to easily understand and restate your message.
Use Complimentary Visual Aids
Did you know that more than 80% of the information our brain processes comes through our eyes? That’s why it is extremely important to use visual aids in a persuasive presentation. Think about the commercials for abused animals that you see on TV. It is far more compelling to actually watch the animals on TV than to read about it in a magazine. It’s the visual image that persuades people to act. In the same way, you can persuade your audience by including visuals. Data graphs, charts, photographs, videos, and demonstrations are all examples of visuals that can be persuasive.