Have you noticed how some people seem blessed with the ability to convince with their words? They are confident and powerful speakers – who know how to successfully deliver their messages. Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t naturally have these skills. For example, when called on to speak in a team meeting, we may find ourselves stuttering our words, drifting from our core message, and generally sounding weak and ineffectual. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can use to instantly boost your credibility and authority.
1. Present both sides of an argument
Recent consumer psychology research has shown that two-sided arguments are more persuasive. This may seem counterintuitive, as presenting only one side of a story would appear to be the obvious choice when looking to persuade people.
However, by presenting both sides of an argument, your audience will believe that you’ve studied your subject carefully and meticulously. They’ll also know that you’ve chosen your personal preference only after looking at all the facts.
A great example of this can be found on websites such as AliExpress, Amazon and eBay. These global, online retail giants encourage customers to rate products and services, and give feedback – good or bad. By offering this feature, people considering a purchase can quickly determine if a product or service is suitable for them.
This system works perfectly. Picture the alternatives:
- No ratings or feedback allowed
- Only positive ratings or feedback allowed
Clearly, neither of these would be effective.
So remember, to persuade your audience to your point of view, be sure to present both sides of an argument.
2. Give key information at the start of your presentation
Are you familiar with a concept known as the “primacy effect?” If not, here’s what you need to know.
The primacy effect states that information given at the beginning of a sequence has a stronger and longer-lasting impact than information presented later. In other words, to have the most impact, you should place your key messages and benefits at the start of your presentation. By doing this, your audience will immediately perceive your information (and you) as being favorable, helpful, and instructive.
Of course, you don’t want to give all of your key information right at the outset, but just enough to catch your audience’s attention. If your presentation is broken down into sections, then start each of these sections with strong ideas and memorable stories.
By starting strongly, you’ll boost your self-confidence, while at the same time magically captivating your audience.
3. Remove the phrase “I think” from your sentences
A common problem with ineffective presenters is that they often begin sentences with the phrase: “I think…”
In day-to-day conversations, this phrase is perfectly acceptable and normal. However, if you want to be a persuasive communicator, then you should definitely drop “I think” from your sentences. It’s all about sounding clear and decisive.
As an example for you, which of the below sounds the most convincing?
“I think our product is of high quality and has good value.”
“Our product is of high quality and has good value.”
It’s obvious isn’t it? The second example goes straight to the point, and oozes confidence and strength, whereas the first example leaves a feeble impression.
Whenever you need to present information, adopt the three tips above to make yourself sound compelling and authoritative. Audiences will grasp your information quicker and easier. And they’ll also remember the key takeaways for far longer.
Try it and see for yourself.