increase influence

A sure fire way to increase your influence

There’s a sure fire way to increase your influence and make your presentations more persuasive. Know what your desired outcome is! It sounds simple, and it is, but to often it’s a neglected aspect of any presentation or communication.

 

As the Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there” is how many professionals treat their communication. They put little thought into what they want to achieve, minimal consideration into who the audience is, and what information might be required to move their thinking. There is good news is. If your colleagues and competitors are not placing any effort into thinking about what outcomes they want from their presentations you can easily increase your influence and stand out as a trusted authority.

 

What do you want to happen as a result of your presentation?

The first sure fire way to increase your influence is to select a realistic goal for your communication. This happens in two stages, firstly by identifying what you want to achieve at a high level. Are you looking to persuade, inform, or inspire the people you’re communicating with? Consider what you want your audience feel and do after you have finished communicating with them.

Once you know this you can dive into a more specific statement that provides the key direction for your presentation or message. The specific statement is the core theme of your presentation. In my Speak to influence program I show students how to craft a ten word specific statement that clearly states the exact outcome of the presentation from an audiences perspective.

 

Remember, you can use the principle of a specific statement in any communication. Whether its a presentation, one-on-one conversation, or email you need to know exactly what the people “receiving” your message should know after you’ve finished.

 

Identify the right ideas to make your case is a sure fire way to increase your influence

This specific statement provides you a central theme for your presentation and allows you to select the right material to share with your audience.  A simple evaluation of the ideas that you want to include against the specific statement enables you to determine if the idea/thought you would like to share with your audience will help you achieve your aim or not. If it doesn’t you discard it; if it does you include into your presentation. Ensuring you have a value proposition that will intrigue the people you are talking to.

 

For example if you would like to persuade your manager to give you a pay rise you would tell him (or her) all of the great work that you have done and all of the positive feedback you have from your colleagues, and how the market is paying the money you are asking for. You would not include a detailed description of any mistakes you have made – would you?

 

Its easy to identify the presentations where the speaker has not taken the time to think about their specific statement and select the main points to discuss according to the specific statement. These presentations are confusing and feel aimless because the presentation is a “data dump” – where everything is “shared” in the hope that the audience might get the idea. Focussed presentations are the only way that you will increase your influence.

 

Sure fire way to increase your influence – Know who is listening?

There is one foundation that I haven’t discussed yet, and that is you must know your audience. The better you understand the people you are communicating with the more likely you are to select the right objective, specific statement, and optimal points to cover in your presentation. How can you better know your audience? Step into their shoes…

What are their problems?

What are their goals?

What do they know?

 

Without this you no idea of what motivates the people you are communicating with and importantly what do they know or need to know to make the decision you want.

 

In my Speak to Influence Program there is a dedicated modules to help students step into the shoes of the air audience. After completing the module students are able to identify what motivates their audiences, what the audience members know, and what “topics” should be avoided so they can select the right points and ideas to get the outcomes they are chasing with their presentations.

 

A goal with out a plan is just a wish. By taking the time to consider what you want to achieve with any communication it will enable you to make a significant improvement in your ability to influence others.  You will move from wishing you had more influence to someone who can lead and influence clients and colleagues.

About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.