Have you ever listened to a speech given by someone where you felt deeply touched? Did you notice that some people get the answer “yes” no matter what? How many times did your mind change after having a conversation with someone? If you can recall even one situation, you probably encountered someone who used persuasion strategies effectively.
These strategies can be learned and integrated into your life as a leader or a member of a team, so keep reading to learn how to plan your next speech with the help of our tips. Or, for more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.
Popular and Ancient Persuasion Strategies
Employing persuasion strategies in your speech is a way of strategic communication. Persuasion doesn’t mean changing someone’s mind completely. It is a way to influence someone’s attitude, behaviour, idea, or beliefs about something.
It is also a big part of good leadership as an entrepreneur. You’ll be working with people disagreeing with you, or investors and customers rejecting you. You won’t be able to filter them out as you could in your personal life. When it comes to promoting your business and making money, you need to convince people that your company and product are valuable.
This is where you need to employ persuasion strategies in your speech to reach more customers and investors. Even from ancient times, we can see the importance of persuasion.
The history of persuasion goes back to the time of Aristotle. Even though his persuasion strategies are 2,300 years old, they are still applicable today. Most of the famous speeches given by significant public figures, leaders, and businessmen employed his ancient persuasion principles, which are:
- Ethos: Be credible.
- Pathos: Appeal to emotions.
- Logos: Be logical.
You build a sense of credibility through competence and trustworthiness. You need to convince your target group by showing them that you know what you are talking about. That you did your research, and you can provide them with solid examples or sources. You need to give them a reason to trust you.
You can’t only achieve it by showing them charts or data, you also need to convey it well. The way you use your body language, keep eye contact and use your voice effectively play a big role in being credible. If they sense that you are not confident, they also won’t be confident enough to trust what you have to say.
You need to make your argument logical and reasonable. Read our article to learn 4 major steps about persuasion in business. You need to be able to tell your target audience “why and how” what you are talking about is significant. Tell them about the exact steps or the plan following your speech.
You need to provide your target group with unbiased, specific, and verifiable research. Show them the two sides of the argument, and explain why choosing your side is more advantageous or reasonable than choosing the other side.
If you are looking for an immediate change in behaviour or seeking a certain reaction, provoking emotions is probably the best way. However, it might be considered unethical. Besides, if you solely base your speech on emotions but can’t provide your target group with reasoning, they will suspect you, which will directly decrease your credibility as well.
What you can do is create a picture in the mind of your target group. Let them visualise what you are talking about by providing them with concrete and descriptive examples, and maybe with visual aids. Try to employ powerful words that carry certain emotions within.
Read our article about persuasion techniques for entrepreneurs.
A Groundbreaking Speech From History
Steve Jobs – Stanford Commencement Address
When you listen to Steve Jobs’ speech, you’ll see the effective use of ethos, pathos, and logos. You might think that he did exactly the opposite of creating a sense of credibility at the beginning of his speech by telling the graduates that he never graduated from college. However, he was already a credible person by being one of the most successful people in the world. The audience had already put trust in him, knowing that he was an expert due to his status.
Tip: If you are already in a high position in your company, use it effectively. You are already one step forward.
As you keep listening, you’ll notice how much he shared about his personal life and his hardships. This is where he used pathos to create emotional connectedness with his audience. By sharing his hardships, he created the mind of his audience that he was also like them.
Tip: You need to show your team, investors, and customers that you understand their needs. Make them think that it is not about what benefits your company, but it is about how you solve a problem because you understand. Show them that they are a part of your company and product, and create connectedness.
Although he didn’t use any data, charts, or any other scientific sources, he still managed to involve logos in his speech. He didn’t share any statistics, yet, he shared a fact that is known by everyone. He said: “Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.” By saying that, he was emphasising the importance of not wasting any time and taking action.
Tip: Convince your target group why your idea or product is significant. Provide them with reasoning.
How Else Can You Be More Persuasive?
- Involve everyone. Don’t use the words “I” or “You”. Talk about “We”.
- Be positive. Don’t talk about the empty half of the glass. Focus on the full side.
- Don’t generalise. Be specific.
- Create urgency. Remind of the importance of time and taking action now.
- Give them control. Make them understand that saying “yes” is their choice.
- Start with something minor. Climb the ladders one by one. Don’t approach with the biggest problem or plan at first.
- Keep eye contact.
- Use your voice effectively.
- Don’t put your hands inside your pockets or cross your arms. Show your palms.
- Be friendly. Don’t forget to smile.
All in All
Anyone can learn to be more persuasive, however, it might take some practice. As an entrepreneur, you need to be persuasive to carry your company and product from point A to point B. You need to learn how to convince your potential investors and customers of the value of your company and product effectively. You need to learn how to solve disagreements within your team. Therefore, understanding how to apply persuasion strategies is significant for your career as an entrepreneur and the future of your company.