To be successful in persuading others, you need to learn to be a great communicator. Now if you’ve read and understood the last point, you’re already well on your way to nailing this one because communication, and indeed influencing others, is a two-way thing.
Here are some other points you might want to consider.
Body Language: Master your own and understand theirs because body language gives away so much about how information is being received.
Let me give you an example, have you ever presented and seen people cross their arms? What do you think is happening, are they receptive of your message or have they simply disengaged and switched off? What about if their head is slightly tilted or nodding repeatedly, does that mean that they are engaged or Interested?
Understanding the subtle undertones of body language can go a long way in helping you influence other people, so, look out for the signs and be conscious of your own.
For example, don’t present with your hands in your pockets, it shows a lack of confidence, don’t stand behind a lectern as it builds a barrier, and although eye contact is good, anything more than a few seconds is just plain creepy!
Minimise Distractions: Can everyone see and hear you? do they need a comfort break? is the room too hot or cold? While some of this may be out of your control, effective communication takes planning, this will elevate your chances of engaging with your audience and in turn becoming more receptive to what you have to say.
Think about it, if you’re sitting there freezing cold and busting for a pee are you really listening to what’s being said?
Seek Clarification: Admitting that you don’t understand something and seeking clarity runs against our inner grain, but you will never influence others if you don’t truly understand the question, problem, or end goal.
Great communicators obtain both knowledge and insight, this builds credibility! I’m not saying stand up and proclaim you have no idea what they are talking about but look at ways that you can paraphrase what’s been said and seek approval of your understanding.
Bottom line, enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn, not just something to teach.
Find a volunteer and sit back to back with a pencil and paper. One person takes the role of the speaker, the other will play the part of the listener.
The speaker needs to describe without specifying anything other than the line length and direction, a simple drawing, such as the image below.
The listener needs to turn the description into a drawing without looking at the original image.
As the role of the speaker you need to get the listener to draw a simple object without describing what it is.
What steps did you take to ensure that the instructions were clear?
What could you have done to communicate the directions better?