After some recent executive presentations in which I guess I seemed very persuasive, a few colleagues asked me for tips on how to improve their persuasion skills. So I wrote a series of blog posts about this. Then, on a roll, I did two live videos on Facebook (part 1 and part 2) about persuasion. But not too many people got to see the videos, so this podcast is the first of two based on the Facebook videos.
I’ve studied presentation skills and persuasion skills over the years. And, reflecting on all the books I’ve read, videos I’ve watched, and trainings I’ve taken, I came up with 8 tips you can use right away to level up your persuasion game.
By the way, you’ll find these tips valuable when you have to deliver bad news, as I discussed in episode 303.
There’s one fundamental rule about persuasion: people make decisions emotionally, and justify them rationally. This is an oversimplification, but it’s not too far off. Keeping it in mind will help you be more persuasive. And the list I share in the episode comprises some of the tools you can use for both emotional engagement and rational connection.
- Have a goal
- Have stories, not just facts
- Pre-handle objections
- Acknowledge unknowns (with a plan to address)
- Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
- Use conversational language
- Guide the listener/user
- Listen and acknowledge
Here is a short bibliography on persuasion, as I mention in the episode:
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Presuasion by Robert Cialdini
- Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra (also check out this video of her presenting on the topic.
- To Sell Is Human, by Daniel Pink
- Made To Stick and Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath
- Two Andy Raskin articles: “Want a Better Pitch? Watch This” and “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen”
- Copywriting guides in general. Two specific resources are David Garfinkel’s Copywriter’s Podcast and Joanna Weibe’s CopyHackers