Should you learn verbal persuasion techniques that can make your speeches more effective?
Well, if you aim to inspire, convince, and transform perspectives about a specific topic, or perhaps to bargain more effectively, the answer is yes.
The power of persuasion can not only help you in your professional life but in your personal life too. These persuasion skills and influencing tactics can make you a more effective and competent speaker, irrespective of your topic or industry.
Is it Ethical to Use Persuasion Techniques as a Speaker?
When you can convince the world of your authenticity with your words alone, you are not just a better orator, but a better communicator, with the ability to play many roles. For instance, as a sales executive, you can use your persuasion skills to influence others, gain their trust, and ensure that they like you right away and are willing to listen to you. This is the key to selling.
As a speaker, persuading your audience helps them relate to you, so they understand and agree with your viewpoint.
Learning how to persuade, convince, or sell your innovative ideas to your audience while delivering a speech is an invaluable skill that helps you excel.
If a speaker is misleading their audience for their personal gain or promoting something unethical or unlawful, using persuasion techniques for these purposes is a bad idea.
Ethical persuasion techniques have some general characteristics that let you:
Explain your viewpoint
Explore and discuss the other person's viewpoint
Notably, when a speaker adopts an ethical approach, they get input from their audience, and they offer an authentic, truthful explanation of their outlook.
As a speaker you must carefully consider your persuasion strategy and topic to ensure that you communicate a message that is ethical. To avoid coercing your audience, it is also imperative for you to use emotional and logical appeals responsibly.
Best 6 Persuasion Techniques You can Use in Your Speeches
Here are some expert-recommended ways you can command your audience's attention during a speech and convince them of your expertise.
Asking rhetorical questions is a great way to persuade your audience when delivering a speech. This adds a dramatic effect to your address; your audience knows you aren't expecting an answer, but it gets them thinking about the point you’re making.
So rhetorical questions and comments effectively engage your audience and keep them hooked to your speech. However, don't make the mistake of overusing rhetorical techniques because that can make you sound unsure, repetitive, and unprofessional.
Also, know that this persuasion technique forces your listeners to think. It asks open-ended questions to the audience without providing them with an answer. This encourages them to think about different solutions and explore unique and innovative ideas/possibilities that they might not have considered otherwise.
Rhetorical questions also evoke emotions and help you emphasize a point. They help you better convince listeners to consider what you're saying seriously.
Telling brief stories about your life experiences is an excellent persuasion approach to public speaking. As long as you can tell your story in an engaging, shocking, touching, proactive, or humorous way, rest assured that you've made an impact. Typically, these stories last no more than a few minutes, preferably much less, and give your audience a deeper understanding of what you're trying to tell them, while also entertaining them.
However, that doesn't mean that you should make your entire speech into a personal anecdote. Leverage this technique sparingly but practically.
Present a story by backing up your arguments with facts, hammer down your central idea, and highlight your takeaway to the audience. Also, it is imperative to position your anecdote in your speech tactically, as that is a big part of what will determine its purpose and effectiveness.
Used well, an anecdote can introduce an idea, make it relatable to your audience, reiterate the message, and ultimately ingrain your message/idea into the minds of your audience.
Be Descriptive And Authentic
It is vital to bring your story to life by describing it appropriately and authentically. When relating an anecdote, elaborate on what you heard, saw, and felt at that point in your time.
It is also important to ensure that you sound credible and genuine to the audience. Otherwise, you can't earn the trust and integrity needed to persuade listeners. Don't make anything up, because more often than not, audiences will quickly catch on to that and you will lose them.
For example, in this video, you can learn to structure and write a persuasive presentation or speech and include the problem, solution, and advantages in the same order.
Follow The "Rule Of Three" Or Tricolon
A Tricolon, also referred to as the "Rule of three," is another useful persuasion technique.
The human brain absorbs and retains information more efficiently when that information is packaged in threes. Consider three to be the magic number, and try using a set of three phrases, clauses, or words to get a point across. As long as you don’t overdo it, doing so makes what you say more memorable, interesting, and exciting. This rule works well in writing too.
You can learn more about persuasive speaking basics here.
Decide on an Overarching Theme
Don't share too much information too quickly. You need to communicate your ideas in a way that provides value to your audience.
You should unify your address under a centralized and overarching theme to create simplicity and coherence in your presentation. Avoid disparate tidbits, unrelated rants, and long-winded tangents.
Doing this will make it more manageable for your listeners to follow along and understand the predominant theme of your presentation.
Convey Your Message Through Emotive Language
One of the most actionable persuasion techniques is to leverage emotive language in your speech. Choose phrases and words that appeal to your audience's emotions.
Emotional triggers can be experiences, events, or memories that spark an intense reaction emotionally. Using these also helps you connect with, engage, and hook your audience to your speech and the message you are trying to convey.
Therefore, building your speech's structure around emotion is a powerful way to convince your audience. However, it is important to ensure that you don't confuse an emotional appeal with manipulation.
Great Resources on Improving Persuasion Skills
Speaking persuasively is a talent that requires effort and consideration. However, the hard work will pay off spectacularly in the long run.
Here are some resources to help you learn and practice your persuasion skills:
Workshops And Courses
You can increase the quality of your interactive and engaging sessions with your audience by enrolling in a speaking course.
Training will provide practical, actionable, and valuable tips that you can implement in your speeches and everyday communication. Workshops, courses and online learning platforms are excellent places to start building and improving skills you can practice in real-life scenarios.
For example, Skills Converged offers various courses and training sessions to help you hone your persuasion skills.
Books are excellent fonts of information and knowledge. They seep things into your mind, trigger creativity, and transform perspectives. Books can provide excellent advice on presentation skills, public speaking, communication, etc.
While some books focus on inspiring your audience to help them build confidence and realize their self-worth, others offer practical insights on preparation, writing, and body language.
So whether you require material advice or motivational energy, books are a great way to achieve your goal.
For instance, an influential and informative book like "Win Your Case: How to Present, Persuade, and Prevail–Every Place, Every Time" by Gerry Spence is a great read that can help you improve your persuasion and presenting skills alike.
Another book I would recommend is "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini. This is a classic book on persuasion that explains the psychology and reasoning behind people saying yes, and explains how to apply those understandings.
Videos are another valuable resource to help you hone and improve your persuasion skills. For many, the visual format is an easy form to absorb tips. You can follow motivational videos at your own pace, and learn new concepts that can help you convince your audience.
So if you want to invigorate your persuasive techniques through video, you have various platforms available to you. For instance, YouTube has a wide choice of videos addressing presentation skills.
For example, this video can help you with preparing and delivering an excellent persuasive speech. Also, you can find an expansive list of communication concepts with implementation strategies that you can leverage in your speeches.
There are many other videos on YouTube and other platforms that can help you work on your speaking and persuasion skills. You can find several expert communication coaches who offer comprehensive videos on the art of persuasion. Communication Coach Alex Lyon has a YouTube channel that provides online courses to help people with their persuasion skills.
Whether an influencer, leader, salesperson, or speaker, you can benefit greatly by enhancing your ability to persuade and convince your audience. This is the key to getting people to sit up and take notice of who you are. It gets them to buy into your products, ideas, services, or even social causes and fundraising.
Work on the persuasion techniques mentioned above to deliver a valuable speech, negotiate a sales deal, etc. These are tried and trusted techniques that will help you achieve your public speaking goals.
About the author:
Will Cannon is the founder of Signaturely. He is an experienced marketer with profound knowledge in lead generation, communication, email marketing, demand generation, and customer acquisition. He offers actionable techniques on improving customer experience and increasing business ROI.