The keys for Persuasive Presentations

Whether you’re an entrepreneur pitching for funding, an executive presenting a proposal to a business partner, or a public speaker looking to change a few minds with your presentation, here are five tips to help master the art of persuasion.

Some people have an aura and compelling ways to present an idea, and we all believe that these people have a natural gift. Let me tell you; there is a difference between “Talent” and “Skill”.


A skill is expertise, which is acquired by the person by learning. Talent is God gifted ability, whereas Skill is an ability in which you put your time and efforts to develop. Talent, along with skills, is considered as a refined ability. If a person does mastery in his talent, then he will be able to fulfil his life goals efficiently and effectively.


So, none of us born with a natural talent for public speaking or persuasion abilities. These are skills that we can all develop when we put our mind, time and effort to develop it. You can become a persuasive presenter/speaker, and I would like to give you five critical areas to focus on achieving this ambition.


Even if your goal is only to inspire or inform, you still need to persuade your audience to pay attention. If you need to compel your audience to take action, persuasion is an obvious essential.


Whether you’re an entrepreneur pitching for funding, an executive presenting a proposal to a business partner, or a public speaker looking to change a few minds with your presentation, here are five tips to help master the art of persuasion.


#1: Connect with your audience


The likeable presenter is more persuasive than presenters who cannot connect to the audience. Things you can demonstrate throughout your presentation which will make you agreeable are;

The likeable presenter is more persuasive than presenters who cannot connect to the audience. Things you can demonstrate throughout your presentation which will make you agreeable are;

  • Before delivering a presentation, thoroughly research your audience. When you take the stage, be prepared to demonstrate commonalities between yourself and the audience members, and also compliment the audience.

  • According to researches, leaders need to be perceived as warm, even more so than competent, to be persuasive. Although projecting competence is essential, neglecting to demonstrate trustworthiness/warmth – a psychological conduit for influence – makes it very difficult for leaders to gain loyalty and to be persuasive in a sustainable way.

  • To be persuasive, relate to your audience by not only connecting to their minds but by also connecting to their hearts. Expressing interests or concerns that you share with them is one easy way to connect to your audience.

  • Smile, ask questions and come across as fully invested in your presentation and the audience member’s experience. If your presentation topic isn’t light hearted, tell a relevant, happy story, or joke that will inspire you to smile at least once during your presentation.

  • People make their decisions based on emotion first, and then they back them up with logic. Logic helps, but ultimately, it’s feelings that move people to action.


#2: Tap into Senses


If you are presenting a PowerPoint presentation, a well-designed and visually appealing deck plays a critical role in your ability to persuade your audience. The colours used in your presentation design are one of the most influential aspects of your presentation design. Due to the impact of colour on our senses and behaviours, the colour scheme of your presentation design can help you influence moods and change minds.

Source: Conversioner

Red: Widely recognised as dynamic, passionate, and even aggressive, red can be an excellent way to go if your presentation is very energetic and animated. For example, you might want to harness the colour’s boldness to create excitement and enthusiasm around the launch of a new product, service, or initiative.


However, beware – predominant use of red can be overpowering and can tire your audience’s eyes very quickly.


Yellow: It is a colour that gives a perception of friendly and inviting feeling; yellow is a good choice for inclusion when you’re aiming to deliver a positive message. Its warmth can support messaging that is customer-focused and outgoing.


Orange: Orange is a strong but also lively and warm colour which combination of fiery power of red and the inviting warmth of yellow. It is the colour of innovation and success and can be used to inspire your audience and generate excitement.


It is often used in calls to action because of its association with positive attitudes, so if you want your audience to do something during or after your presentation, orange is here to help!


Blue: Blue is connected with ideas of calmness, responsibility and trust – making it a suitable choice for financial services, healthcare and technology companies.


Make use of blue when delivering a very calculated message with your presentation, and it will help instil a sense of confidence and dependability in your content.


Green: Green is associated with nature and the environment and therefore, used by some brands (Like Starbucks) to reflect their ethos on ethical business, involvement in Fairtrade, ethical sourcing, and community projects.


Green also indicates new beginnings and growth – making it fit for a presentation about new directions and future plans.


Purple: Purple signifies wealth, royalty and stability, and can help reinforce ideas of luxury when the subject of your presentation is a premium product, service or experience.


Purple also implies creativity and intelligence, which can help add depth and sophistication to the detail of your presentation.


Colour Contrast: When choosing colours, it’s important to check that they work well together – both in terms of aesthetics and readability. If you want to understand how colours work in contrast and what is the best colour match, you can check on https://contrast-ratio.com.


One more important point on senses worth remembering, there are always some unexpected last-minute technical difficulties, and therefore, it is wise to prepare some pleasant music to keep the audience relax. You can use similar music during breaks while you are waiting for everyone else join the meeting again.


#3: Tell Stories and Anecdotes


A well-crafted story can take your audience far away from business-jargon-land and inspire them to feel your message, imagine scenarios, and envision fresh ideas. As a result of your story and, most importantly, the resulting emotional impact of your tale, your audience will likely remember the overall message of your presentation.


According to researches, the most successful presentations contain 65% stories, 25% figures and 10% related to the credibility of the speaker.


If you want to make your presentation exciting, enjoyable and memorable, consider starting your introduction with an anecdote or story and ending with a story or weaving a narrative throughout your entire presentation.


#4: Use Your Body Language Effectively


Three key areas to look for;

  • Maintain eye contact

  • Open posture

  • Use effective hand gestures

It’s important to continually smile and be confident throughout the speech while maintaining eye contact using "W" or "M" method, open and honest posture and most importantly using our hands effectively.


Hand gestures can work in tandem with the words you say during your presentation, effectively becoming the second channel of communication between you and your audience. If you’re using energetic, and seemingly natural, hand gestures to emphasise your words, you will come across as a more competent and more likeable.


Let your hands gesture naturally during your presentation. While gesturing, be especially aware of how you use your palms. Speaking with your palms up will make you more likeable and persuasive. If you speak with your palms down, you will be perceived as threatening and controlling. Hand gestures that direct your palms upwards or towards the audience can lead to 40% more audience engagement, compared to palms-down gestures.


#5: Use Trigger / Persuasive Words


Be selective about the words that you choose to use during your presentations. Emotional words more vividly remembered than neutral words.

Take your word curation to the next level by integrating some of the most influential words into your presentations;


YOU: Using “you” puts the focus on the audience, not on yourself and effecting the audience positively. If you are delivering a presentation to only to a few people, consider using their first names during your speech. Make sure that it comes across naturally when addressing audience members directly.


FREE: Be strategic when it comes to using the word “free” as it used by the advertisements constantly. Use the word “free” to maintain the value of your message, while also tapping into the influential power of the word.


BECAUSE: When using the word “Because” with a proper explanation for the request add during your speech, the audience will listen more attentively. If you want audience members to participate in your presentation, give them a reason for your request.


INSTANTLY: The word “instantly” makes events or experiences seem easy and exciting. If you can honestly and tactfully use the word “instantly” as part of your call-to-action at the end of your presentation, it will improve the response rate of your audience.


ABSOLUTELY: “Absolutely” is one of the best words in the English language. It answers questions, ends doubt, gives confidence to you as a problem-solver. It removes worry, uncertainty, and apprehension.” In short, it’s a “yes” on steroids.


BUT: There are two halves to the “But” Effect: the “But” Eraser and “But” Enhancer. For the listener, everything said before the word “but” is erased, and everything after the word “but” is enhanced.


In summary


If you choose the appropriate colour scheme for your presentation slides, practice the art of hand gestures, telling compelling stories, asking your audience to visualise the future along with you and putting on a big smile while you are doing that; you are on the right track to excelling persuasive presentation mastery.

© Speak2Impress 2020

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