How to Give a More Convincing Presentation at Work

How to Give a More Convincing Presentation at Work
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To Be a Master of Persuasion at Work
Whatever it is you want to sell — yourself in an interview, an idea at work, a solution to a client prospect — the process is similar. You need to know how to give a convincing presentation at work. The good news is that much of what it takes to be a master of persuasion can be learned in terms of sizing up people, motivating others, and making an impact.

I think we can all agree that being able to persuade people is a powerful skill. Whether you present formally on stage, in the breakroom at work, or even at the family dinner table, who wouldn’t want the ability to positively affect the hearts and minds of listeners so that they take action on your ideas?

Basic Tenets of More Convincing Presentations
Here are the five fundamentals of presentations that truly hit their mark in terms of presentation structure:

  1. Earn Credibility
    Why should your audience trust that you know something valuable about the subject? What experience do you bring that would justify their trust in your argument?

    You need to be your authentic self while quickly establishing your intent and expertise. Not necessarily by listing your degrees, but by placing yourself in a relevant scenario. For example, if you want to persuade people to avoid dangerous behavior, talk about your years working in the ER where you’ve “seen it all.”
  2. Address “What’s In It for Them” Intellectually
    Next, you need to capture your audience’s attention by explaining why it should matter to them. Use data, facts, and evidence to appeal to reason. This is the logical part of your persuasion.
  3. Appeal to Their Emotions
    The most effective speakers are able to move their audience by appealing to their feelings. Tell a story that deeply connects with your listeners on an emotional level. Rather than general points, make it specific.

    Talk about a particular incident or person. Aren’t you much more likely to donate to a cause when you can picture an individual who needs your help rather than faceless masses? Take your big idea and wrap it in a story that is highly relevant and personal.

    Then, if you can add authentic elements of danger or misadventure, the story becomes even more powerful and affecting.
  4. Make It Real
    Even more powerful is the technique of a relevant metaphor. When you can compare your concept to something that resonates with your audience, the abstract becomes real. For example, we have all heard that some solutions are only “Band-Aids” when a much more comprehensive program is needed to fix the issue. Metaphors are meaningful, help to clarify thinking, and easy to remember.
  5. Keep It Short and Simple
    Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information or complex vocabulary and sentence structure. Keep your remarks to the point and simply expressed. It is the quality of what you say rather than the quantity. State your key message at the start, amplify it with data and a story, then reiterate it at the end in a compelling, memorable way.

The Bottom Line
Effective business presentation skills can be learned if you are willing to put in the time and effort. Start with simple situations so when the high stakes presentation is scheduled, you will be ready.

 To learn more about how to give a more convincing presentation at work, download How to Present to Senior Executives Like a Rock Star

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