What comes to mind when you hear the word Persuasion? To some it conjures up suspicion, deception, and manipulation. Indeed the result can be to deceive or corrupt the mind of those who are easily beguiled.
Because of this mental definition many are closed minded to any thought that is foreign to them. If you think this does not apply to you then ask this question: Are you selective about what you will consider or listen to? Just how high are your mental spam filters set?
Well, how do you feel about MLM’s (multi-level marketing or network marketing)?
Please note... this is not an article about Multi Level Marketing so bear with me.
Did you know that MLM’s have evolved and there is actually a third generation of MLM that even Blue Chip Corporations are using?
Why did you not know this information about them? Could it be because you were closed minded?
From this viewpoint you can see that persuasion requires logic and reasoning. These form an essential need in a speech to overcome the audience values and mindset if they are not in line with your purpose. Persuasive speaking and speech or the art of persuasion is an essential skill.
So where does persuasion fit into the public speaking universe? To understand the answer it might be good to go back to the beginnings of formal public speaking. Let’s go back to ancient Greece. In the layman’s Greek, the word persuade in a positive sense would mean to convince, to change the minds of listeners by means of logical thought and sound reasoning.
Persuasion and the Public Speaker
How can this be put to use for public speakers?
A persuasive public speech needs to convince, to change the minds of your audience with logical thought and sound reasoning. How can you persuade in your speech?
If you are going to change the mind of your audience, persuade them, you need to know your audience.
Your Audience would be the initial consideration. What are their thoughts on the subject you will be talking about? A sampling of the audience will be vital to know how to proceed.
For instance consider MLM’s. Have any been involved with them. Have any been burned or wasted money on them. Have any not made money on them? Change the question to anything you will be persuading about.
The make up of the audience will also play a part. Are they young or old, parents or single?
Some key word searches you can do in order to better learn about the different kinds of audiences. These would include... Adult-Audience
Once the audience is defined, it will be important to know the values they hold. This is a vital consideration before preparing the presentation. How will you find the thoughts and values of the audience? You will have to get to know them. You will have to get to know the...
Listen would also be an excellent keyword to review. What does it mean to listen. How can listening skill be improved?
Art of Listening is a bit more specific way of looking at what it means to really listen.
Listening Style reminds us that people have preferred ways of taking in knowledge. Speak to them in the style they prefer and you increase the ability to reach and persuade them.
The only way to find their listening styles is to listen to them.
Body Language is an important aspect of non-verbal listening. Listening includes listening with your eyes. What is the body language of the person talking to you?
Asking Questions will be the next task to enhance your listening. The art of asking questions will also help you to know how to prepare to best persuade.
Reasoning is the next thing to do. To convince or change the mind with logical thought and sound reasoning will result in persuasion.
Argumentation if properly used will help with this. Remember you need to be tactful. A sailing ship can move against the wind and still make forward progress. It is called tacking. When a sailing vessel needs to go against the wind, it does not take it head on.
Did you notice very little here is about reasoning, logic and changing minds. That is because they are the easy part. The hard part of this is connecting with the audience. The challenge is to get into their thinking.
Persuasive public speaking, to be effective, needs to be attentive to this aspect of the audience.
Reasoning with Reasonableness
When trying to persuade, it is sometimes necessary not to take the issue head on. It is necessary to reason with the same reasonableness you would expect to be shown.
I started this with the MLM at the very beginning for a very special reason. Many will be turned off and have left thinking this is some kind of pitch. Did you have an uncomfortable feeling at that point? What thoughts did you have when you kept reading?
By the way, I do not belong to nor promote any MLM companies. Well, to be open minded as I suggest, at least at this writing I do not. As to the feeling you had at the beginning...
Remember that Feeling to Master Persuasion
...well, remember that feeling the next time you want to persuade someone. They have strong emotions and feelings that you may need to tactfully get around just as that sailing ship is required if it will be possible to make forward progress with persuading. Persuade with reasonableness as you present your sound logic.
Keeping these points in mind will help you to be effectively, confident and successful as you persuade in your public speaking.
Master these skills and the art of persuasion will be easy.
Persuasive Speech Home and more about the persuasive speech process.