Present, Persuade and Win!

Hi there!

Mission accomplished! I've delivered the last seminar at ISEL entitled: Present, Persuade and Win!

I have to say thank you to Eng. Fernando Sousa for believing in me and to Advantis for their unlimited support.

The seminar worked out great and at the end everybody was talking about how important is to communicate effectively. To transmit your ideas to an audience and change the way they think or act. To persuade them.

This presentation is based on Aristotle's Rethoric, a study about Persuasion that started 367 A.C., and in a great book by Jerry Weissman called Presenting to Win. This proves that knowing how to deliver a persuasive presentation is just as important today as it was in the days of Aristotle.

The presentation began with this quote: "There are more than 30 million presentations every day" - The New Yorker.

Each presentation is unique. Each presentation is a key moment for you to deliver your message. You can't go back and change the way you did it in that particular day to that particular audience.

So how can You take advantage of each presentation you give and persuade your audience effectively?

First, you have to know what persuasion is.

Persuasion is the ability to move an audience from point A to point B. Point B is where you want to leave them. It's your goal! Move an uninformed audience to know your subject. Move a dubious audience to believe in your message. Move an apathic audience to act now!

But to do this you have to prepare your presentation with an objective in mind. Your point B! Aristotle called this teleology. Because if you don't know what's your point B you can't persuade them.

When you're preparing your presentation you should focus on the story you'll tell. A solid story will give you more control on your presentation and it will decrease your nerves. When you are in control of your material you transmit trust to the audience. And when you establish these kind of feelings on the audience you will persuade them more easily.

But to persuade them you have to clearly show what they win if they move to point B. Aristotle called this phatos: the orator's ability to connect to the audience's feelings. Show them the WIIFY: What Is In For You.

One way to do this is to focus on Benefits instead of Features. Because a Benefit by definition is always relevant to the audience. Here's an example:

  • Feature: GMail has unlimited storage for you emails.
  • Benefit: You will NEVER delete another email message! Because you know that the moment you erase that month old message... you will need it!

So pick up the audience in point A, show them their WIIFY, lead them through a series of ahas and take them to point B!

To leverage this you have to know your audience. Because it has to be their benefits not yours. This is critical to the sucess of your presentation. Put your audience needs at the heart of your presentation!

However, don't get too detailed. Remember: your audience don't have to know everything to know anything. Sometimes it's hard to tell a story when you're too busy living it, so focus on the essencial.

Also, choose a flow structure for you presentation. Remember, when you're reading a book you can slow your reading pace. Get back to previous pages. Go to the index.

When you're presenting your material the audience only as access to one slide at the time. So guide them through your presentation and make it easy to follow your flow. If the audience thinks: "How did he get there?", you've lost them. Maybe for ever. Don't make them think! Because it's impossible for them to hear you and think at the same time.

Finnaly, have your ever heard of a presentation that was too short? I guess not. Time is a expensive resource so use your audience's time well. So train your presentation well and see what time it takes to deliver. Then at the beginning of the presentation make a forecast of the amount of time it will take. It will show that you respect the audience. It will also transmit that you've planned your presentation. Thus, it will transmit control and build a sense of trust. This way you can deliver a persuasive presentation more effectively.

I hope you can take this information and use it now in your presentations to persuade your audience, deliver your message and win the day!

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