Persuasive speaking is feared by many as being manipulative or pushy. But what if you could learn persuasive speaking in a way that felt completely natural, completely authentic and completely sleaze-free?
Ginger’s 4-part persuasive speaking guide will show you how to be a more influential speaker, without that life-sapping feeling of having to sell your soul to do it.
Persuasive Speaking Part 1: Persuasive Speaking – the Authentic Way
If you’re anything like I used to be, you’ll believe that to be good at persuasive speaking you must…
- Change your personality
- Manipulate people
- Play hard-ball like a hard-nosed hard-person
- Be pushy (close the deal, close the deal!)
- Use jedi-like mind tricks or a 7-step formula of some sort
The general perception of persuasive speaking is that it’s difficult and it’s dirty. That it’s all about ‘lead generation’ and ‘adding zeros to your monthly income’ and ‘closing the deal’. And frankly, that’s why I ran a mile from it all for the first part of my professional life. I felt that I’d much rather do what I’m passionate about than have to ‘lower’ myself to persuading other to buy my product or support my cause or do something differently.
Being persuasive is sales, right? And sales is a bad word.
It didn’t help my business much. I ended up being too pushy because I was nervous, which sent people running, or, (usually) I completely avoided trying to be persuasive at all. I can’t count the number of times I finished a speech, talk or workshop with something like “Well, thanks for a wonderful evening, I hope you enjoyed it”, rather than persuading my audience to a next step that would benefit both them and me.
I realised that the hardball persuasive speaking techniques don’t work – at least not in the long term (the audience will always realise if they’ve been manipulated) and certainly not for me. But what I discovered next was that there is an altogether better, more authentic route to persuasive speaking…
There is another way of persuasive speaking – and it comes from within you.
Truly Persuasive Speaking is Authentic Speaking
These days, my approach to persuasive speaking is to stop thinking of it as pushing your agenda and to start to see it as allowing the space for people to connect with the full power of your message. It’s a shift from constantly worrying about your own aims, your own ‘bottom line’ and your own ego, to seeking to benefit others.
The first thing I noticed with this simple shift in attitude was that my confidence leapt. I wasn’t selling any more; but allowing people to see the value in what I do.
The next thing I noticed was that people started coming to me, rather than that soul-sapping feeling of trying to chase them down the street. This shift in outcome comes from a shift in what you’re putting in. It’s no longer about you – it’s about your message.
Command attention on stage – not for yourself, but for the power of your message.
Derailing the Persuasive Speaking myth:
I noticed that persuasive speaking carries with it a whole load of baggage that puts people off from trying. So I developed my own rules of persuasive speaking that derail everything we think is true about being persuasive speakers.
Authentic persuasive speaking rules:
- Don’t change your personality: find the power that already exists within you (Anything else will make you seem fake)
- Don’t manipulate your audience: serve them.
- Don’t play ‘hard ball’: connect with your audience and let your authenticity shine out (People connect with people, not Sales robots)
- Don’t be pushy, but don’t flake out on persuading either – confidently show them what you have and let them come get it.
- Don’t use jedi-like mind tricks or the latest 7-step formula: find what you believe in enough to persuade people about and stick to it (copy-cats never influence as much as unique leaders).
Change the rules and you can be persuasive AND positive.
This is the new approach to persuasive speaking that we’re going to talk more about in the next four parts of the Persuasive Speaking Guide. Watch this space.
We’d love to hear your experiences….
What are your experiences with persuasive speaking? Does it make you nervous? Do you avoid ‘selling’ your product or idea at all costs? Do you cringe at the idea of ‘bothering’ people? Get involved and share your stories in the comments section below.