Best Public Speaking: Speaking to Persuade

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This section Best Public Speaking: Speaking to Persuade talks about public speaking with the purpose of persuading to audience to think or act in a desired way. I will share with you about the 3 things you have to achieve in a persuasive speech and also give you some simple tips to effectively use them.

In most situations, a good leader doesn’t force or oblige his team to do what he wants; he influences and persuades them. Unless you’re in a life-and-death situation where 100% obedience to the leader is necessary (like in a war), you probably do not want to shove commands down your team’s throat.

When you are leading an organization, there will be occasions for change, and there will be occasions where you have to get consensus to make a particular decision.

During these situations, it is necessary that you know how to persuade your team to buy-in your decision.

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The Purpose of Persuasion

1. Provide information and facts to support your decisions

As you make a decision for your organization, I am sure you have had a logical thought process, combined with facts and information to lead you to your conclusion.

It is important now to share that with your team. Once they see how you arrived at your conclusion, they will most likely agree and stand by your decision.

2. Overcome objections

Change is always uncomfortable, and as you make a decision, you might need to overcome certain objections that your team has.

Before you speak, prepare a list of possible objections that you feel are legitimate concerns.

During the course of your presentation, try to answer as many of these objections as possible.

At the end, do open up the floor for questions because you need to listen for any other possible objections that you have missed out.

Depending on the dynamics of your team, do give them some time to think and speak up before you decide to close off the session.

Do prompt them for questions because some might be too afraid to ask.

Where I come from, the audience often needs a lot of encouragement before a question is actually raised.

It is really important to hear out the concerns of your team because you never know what they are thinking until they speak out.

And as you answer these questions, you can effectively persuade them to join you in your decision.

3. Cause action to be taken

Most of all, your speeches must have an action-orientation.

This means that they will move people to a particular behavior or action.

In this world of much talk, it is essential that your speech leads to not just agreement, but action.

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Other Tips on Persuasive Speech

1. Use stories

Theories and facts speak to the head, but stories speak to the heart.

If you are proposing a change in the organization, share with your team about another organization which has successfully implemented similar changes.

In times of uncertainty, facts and theories may not get you the same buy-in as the example of a model organization which has succeeded in that change.

When you are preparing your speech, think about another organization that is going through the same situation as you, and try to use them as an example in your presentation.

When the audience sees the vision of success, they will more likely believe in you.

2. Be confident

When you are persuading people to your point of view or decision, the consistency in your body language plays a big part in convincing your team.

As you are speaking, your team is able to tell if you actually believe what you are saying or whether you are just parroting somebody else based on your body language.

Be confident of what you are saying and be sharp and concise in your words.

Keep the “ums..” and “errs…” away when you are presenting or answering questions.

Lift your shoulders upright, use open hand gestures and show your audiences that you feel confident and positive.

More than your words, your body language is the one that will ultimately give your audience an assurance that you know what you’re talking about and believe in it.

3. Give specific actions

After your presentation, give your team or audience clearly defined actions to take.

Maybe it’s a 10-day challenge of sticking to the new rules; or a budget report that they have to submit.

Whatever it is, the more specific you are with your instructions, the more likely you can yield results.

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