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How to Be Persuasive: The 5 Essentials

Source | LinkedIn : By Sally Susman

Earlier this month, I spoke with a group of women who are among the top-ranking colleagues at their companies. The topic? Persuasive discourse.

For leaders, no matter what their line of work, persuasive speech is an essential communications skill. It aims to bring about change in one’s understanding, perspective or belief and, ultimately, to prompt them to take action.

For some, speaking persuasively comes naturally. For many, this essential communication skill is developed over time and with practice.

Just as I did with the female leaders, I’d like to share the 5 essentials to persuasive discourse that I follow.

1.      Root it in Belief

Whatever your point – make sure you believe in what you’re saying. It is nearly impossible to be effective and persuade others if you don’t believe in it.

2.      Be Relevant

Timing and context is a critical calculation in persuasive speech. When you’re trying to make your point, be aware of relevant and topical issues that are of interest to your audience. Find the connection between what is happening in the world and what you have to say.

Sometimes, the timing won’t be right – be patient. You don’t want to make a great point that is irrelevant and for it to fall on deaf ears.

3.      Be Provocative

This essential is a no brainer, but can often get lost in facts and statistics.

When preparing, ask yourself “what am I really trying to say?” Challenge yourself to answer succinctly and with YOUR unique point of view.

When it comes time to be persuasive – the words (and visuals) you choose will be important. Your take on the topic is what will appeal and capture your audience’s attention.

4.      Write it Yourself

This one is as simple as it sounds. If you are going to express a point of view with the hope to persuade, make sure you’re expressing it in your voice, with your words.

5.      Float it

Get a sense-check. Share your view with an ally or perhaps someone who holds a different point of view.

Read On…

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