02 Jun

Make them say “Yes” (2/2)

As a speaker you try to convince the audience of your opinion. They should agree to the major views of the speech. Apart from the contents there are certain techniques that can be uses for to create a feeling of firm conviction. Proceeding one of the previous posts I’d like to give some more suggestions that are based on Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion.

Liking or “just be nice”

Have you heard that a waiter in a restaurant can increase the tip simply by adding another peppermint sweet to the bill in front of the customers? Showing sympathy to someone increases your chance that she / he will agree with your own needs. So try to buil a good relationship to your audience. How can you do so if you have just limited time in your speach? Some ideas:

  • use positive body language techniques,
  • share something personal with the audience that makes them feel special
  • show appreciation that people came along to listen to your speech.

Authority or “the prove by power”

Usually we tend to follow people in positions of authority, we feel more obliget to accept what they say. Most of us will do what our managers request us to do or agree with someone who is in a high position.
For this reason try to find a prominent and outstanding personality of your point of view or your proposal. Got a quote or an example given or experience by a well known person with best reputation? Brilliant — take her / him to strengthen your thesis.

Scarcity or “now or never”

If people have the feeling that they might miss something if not acting immediately they decide quicker. To pile pressure on customers limited stock or closing dates for special offers are announced to gain a buying decision on the spot. That way you can influence your audience if you expect them to support your idea or project. By exposing an urgent problem that can (only) be solved by your suggestion your audience will likely agree. When speaking in front of a decision-making body point out the need for a clear and positive decision.

Give it a try, working with the specified techniques will make the audience agree to the strong points and ideas of your speech!

Jetti Kuhlemann / pixelio.de
Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

07 Apr

Your audience is special?!

Different characters can be convinced by different methods. While writing your speech it is important to know characteristics of your audience and to make sure that the style of your presentation and your arguments stay on target.

Of course your audience usually consists of various personalities but ask yourself – do they have something in common, e.g. working in the same field or sharing a similar interest or motivation? Especially in this case take a closer look at them. Finding out the audience’s basic personality type can lead to a special design of your presentation. Some ideas how to develop your speech according to the majority of characters in the audience.

Idealists are sympathetic, helpful, loyal and patient. People of this type like to work together with others to achieve results but don’t have a need to appear in public. You will find idealists especially in caring professions like doctors at a hospital or social workers.

The dos…

  • focus on team orientation,
  • strengthen the sense of togetherness,
  • show care about people within and outside the audience;

the donts…

  • isolate a group or a person,
  • show contrasts (“what is right and what is wrong”).

Scientists, engineers and technicians match above-average to the type of a logician. This personality strives for perfection and is quality conscious. Focussing on facts they want to know possible consequences of activities.

The dos…

  • present facts and statistics,
  • structure your speech,
  • go into details;

the donts…

  • press them for time,
  • demand creativity or a broad variety of alternatives.

A communicator stands out for inspiration and entertainment. This proactive personality is a team player and likes to establish contacts. In shaping the environment she / he tries to involve others. Especially creative people and artists represent this type.

The dos…

  • provide entertainment and humor,
  • show passion,
  • make a creative and colorful presentation;

the donts…

  • scare them with negative conequences,
  • bore with facts and figures.

The dynamic person is usually dominant. Willing to take risks these people are decisive. They want to achieve results and overcome resistance of others. This group of people is highly represented by managers and entrepreneurs.

The dos…

  • show clear goals and visions,
  • be enthusiastic,
  • rise to a challenge;

the donts…

  • be sceptic and ask to many questions,
  • show weakness.

Of course all of this is a rough description and simple categorization of personality types. Nevertheless it can be a guideline when you prepare your speech.