What makes one speech more persuasive than another?
Whether you are asking for money, pitching to an investor or inspiring a team through a difficult transition, it would be wise to be sure to include these two elements:
1. Who are you and what is your relationship to this talk?
2. What exactly do you want to have happen?
Who are you?
The first element is the hardest for most people because we are conditioned to keep our personal selves out of our presentations. Most people are worried that it will make them seem arrogant or too vulnerable and that it will pull focus from the main idea.
Instead, the lack of personal story can really confuse an audience, especially if you are trying to persuade them do to something or think something that is not intuitive for them.
We need to know who you are before we can trust you.
Take the time to think about what your personal connection is to this vision, idea or transition. Think about why its success matters to you and why you care so passionately about its success. Take the time to tell your own story so that others can have the permission to integrate it with their own.
What do you want?
So many people assume that this is obvious. I have heard entrepreneurs make a pitch without ever clearly identifying what it was that they wanted. I have heard CEOs talk about the need for their organization to change without clearly outlining what they want people to do differently.
To be clear, this is different than “I want you to work harder because I say so” which is inherently not persuasive. What you want has to be something that you can only accomplish with their help and with their buy-in. The clearer you are about what that thing is and why you want it, the easier it will be for people to receive it.
Before giving your next talk, take the time to refine your relationship to the goal and to clarify what it is that you want from the talk. You will ultimately find that your presentation will be better received, have more impact and be generally more inspiring.
In addition, you will feel stronger in your conviction, which will translate to greater presence overall and more resonance.