Persuasive communication is essential to any professional workplace. From a simple email request for your colleague to help you, to developing a presentation for the board of directors, these are acts of communication that require a good degree of persuasion.
The ability to persuade is crucial in the business world. If you can master the art of persuasive communication, you can win the support of others, unify your team and encourage them to work together. As an executive professional, speaking well is important but speaking with persuasive ability is the actual golden key to success.
The most influential people in the world have long been able to persuade their audiences to think and act in a certain way. For example, Apple founder Steve Jobs, has often been called a corporate storyteller, who has no equal in terms of effective communication and presentation. Apple gained a lot from their former leader who talked with conviction and enthusiasm as demonstrated by his 2007 iPhone launch.
Another well-known figure is Bill Gates with Microsoft, who is widely considered a beacon of change in the world. He is hailed for his ability to break down complex issues in a simplified manner. His speeches highlighting the need for humanitarian work are both moving and impactful.
Leaders are visionaries who usher in a better tomorrow with their ability to communicate that vision with ease. As an executive professional, your ability to succeed does not only depend on your capabilities but rather how well you express them. In order to pull in resources and contacts, you need to learn to convey your ideas through the power of words.
This article provides insight into why persuasive communication is perhaps the most important ingredient for success.
The Importance of Persuasive Communication
Persuasive communication can be impactful and with practice, anybody can develop these abilities. Below are some reasons why persuasive communication is important:
- Charisma: When you can convince people easily and sell your vision, you are seen as an extraordinary personality. Many strong speakers are a brand unto themselves simply because their words are their greatest selling tool.
- Art of positive manipulation: Manipulation can be a useful tool if used with the right intentions. One can use this talent to get customers to buy products or to motivate employees.
- Being relatable: When you speak like you understand people and their requirements, you immediately become relatable. This will draw people to you whether that be in a personal sense or a business sense in terms of customers.
3 Essential Tips in Effective Persuasive Communication
1. Know Your Audience(s), Get Their Attention and Connect to Them Emotionally!
How you craft your message will depend on whether you’re sending a memo to your staff or giving a presentation to the entire company. Effective persuasive communication addresses the audience’s needs, values and desires. Audiences respond better to persuasive communication when they feel the person speaking is similar to them in some way, whether it’s in age, occupation or socio-economic status. If you address what’s important to your audience, they’ll see you as someone who is similar to them. Therefore, they should be more receptive to your message, too.
Before you can persuade an audience, you must first grab their attention and demonstrate why it’s worth their time to listen to your idea or suggestion. Start with an anecdote that illustrates the point you’re trying to make or with a surprising fact that tells them why what you have to say is important. For example, if you’re trying to persuade company management to adopt a no-smoking policy, begin with a statistic regarding how many sick days smokers take compared to non-smokers.
Although we like to think decision-makers use reason to make their decisions, we will always find emotions at play if we scratch below the surface. Good persuaders are aware of the primacy of emotions and are responsive to them in two important ways. Firstly, they show their own emotional commitment to the position they are advocating (without overdoing it, which would be counter-productive). Secondly, they have a strong and accurate sense of their audience’s emotional state, and they adjust their tone and the intensity of their arguments accordingly.
2. Establish Credibility
In the workplace, credibility comes from expertise and relationships. People are considered to have high levels of expertise if they have a history of sound judgment or have proven themselves knowledgeable and well informed about their proposals. They have demonstrated over time that they can be trusted to listen and to work in the best interests of others.
To persuade an audience, you must demonstrate your credibility and authority. People are more receptive to someone they view as an authority figure, whether that person has direct authority over them, such as a boss, or if the person is an authority in his industry or profession. You should attempt to persuade others of something you can prove or have first-hand knowledge of or experience in. Back up your claims with statistics or examples.
3. Convey Benefits
It’s easier to persuade an audience when you can show them how your proposal benefits them. If you’re asking your staff to work overtime during a busy season, describe how the extra money generated will fund additional employee perks or physical improvements to the workplace. If you’re trying to convince your supervisor to let you work from home part-time, mention studies illustrating that employees are more productive when allowed to telecommute. If you’re pitching an idea to a client, explain how using your idea will improve the company’s image and attract more customers.
It is a process of identifying shared benefits in which it is critical to identify your objective’s tangible benefits to the people you are trying to persuade. If no shared advantages are readily apparent, it is better to adjust your position until you find a shared advantage. The best persuaders closely study the issues that matter to their colleagues. They use conversations, meetings and other forms of dialogue to collect essential information. They are good at listening. They test their ideas with trusted contacts and question the people they will later be persuading. Often this process causes them to alter or compromise their own plans before they even start persuading. It is through this thoughtful, inquisitive approach they develop frames that appeal to their audience.
To give yourself the best direction, take a look at the Keys to Persuasive Communication course. This course is specifically designed to provide you with the right aptitude, knowledge and skillset required to be a persuasive communicator. You will learn the tools of “Neuro-Persuasive Communications” that let you gain the greatest influential advantage.
- [In situations with colleagues] Keys to gain a united cooperative working relationship with your colleagues and teams (even if they have diverse backgrounds or work attitudes)
- [In situations with superiors] How to bring your ideas across to your superior/boss in a concise yet persuasive manner
- [In situations with clients] How to communicate in a way that would convince a client you are ‘the only person for the job’… and proceed to do business with you rather than with your competitors
Get a prelude of the session by watching the 1-hour webinar below: