How do you Convince Your Audience?
A good question was raised by Galin, a friend and student, a couple of days ago, “How can you make a presentation very convincing ?”
Well, although it may seem obvious, the first thing to consider is, are you convinced about your subject yourself? Your aim is to be a Speaker not an Actor, therefore sincerity is high on the priority list when it comes to making a convincing presentation.
(Photo copyright Tony James 2012)
Be sure of your facts.
When you use statistics, facts, figures, dates, maps, charts, quotations etc. make sure they are accurate and verifiable, if not, it only takes one refutation from your audience and your credibility is destroyed in an instant.
Do Your Research.
Although you may use evidence as shown in the paragraph above, i.e., facts and figures etc. beware of just taking items out of context, make sure you check sources and how the information is being used, for example is it compatible with your subject or your argument. Particularly, beware of using statistics which are notorious for being misused, misquoted and misleading! The more thorough your knowledge, the more comfortable you will be and the more convincing you will appear.
Having done your research and being familiar with your subject, your job is to transmit that information to your listener in an authoritative manner. Both what you say and how you say it will affect the results.
Use words that leave no room for doubt in the minds of your audience, for example starting a sentence with phrases like;
“We certainly know that …”
“It has long been established ….”
“Scientists have proved …”
“Official surveys demonstrate …”
“I am sure that you are aware …”
“The facts speak for themselves …”
“As recorded at …… , on (date), by (authority) ….”
“I am sure that your own experience shows …”
(Don’t forget, you may be asked to justify any of the above expressions, be prepared!)
Make sure your presentation is fluent, if you are hesitant, or unsure of your words, this could be interpreted by your listener as lack of confidence in your material.
Don’t be afraid to repeat important points, sometimes immediately after stating them, sometimes in your summary or closing review
Speak naturally, but with a degree of intensity and enthusiasm, and a genuine use of emphatic gestures will also be valuable to help put your points across.
Pause after making each main point, to allow your listener time to take in what you are saying, don’t rush through your presentation – it gives the impression that you are trying to pressurize your listener instead of persuading them.
Be careful not to go too far, being overly assertive could be seen as arrogance or you may appear to be trying too hard, and this will detract from your sincerity, which should at all times be very apparent through your delivery, body language and facial expressions.
Use the tried and tested formula of presenting your argument, proposal, suggestion or invitation in the form of an opening statement or question as your introduction.
Present your proof, facts and figures etc. as your main body of the talk, and then review and summarize those points to lead to a call to action in your brief conclusion. Job done!
Click: Here to access my free “Mini Guide to Confident Speaking”
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