Step 01: 5 day challenge “The 5 steps of a persuasive talk in a jiffy”
Time: 20 minutes.
Goal: become a super sharp persuasive speaker.
To kick of this challenge, take a good look at your hand. Yes, your hand!
Your hand is going to help you as a reminder during this challenge. Since it holds the 5 steps of a persuasive talk and you have it always with you. 😉
Are you ready for step 01? Yes?
Then make a fist of your hand. The fist STANDS FOR “the situation” step 1 of a persuasive talk.
To start a persuasive talk, you always start with explaining “the situation”.
What do I mean with “the situation”?
When you want to convince, your audience first needs a brief, yet complete and clear understanding of what the situation is now (context). You could also say, you explain the current problem. That what it is, that you would like to change.
Let’s say, you work at a department where 4 teams work day in and out to make “e-mail campaigns” for clients. Meaning that they mail a list of clients every day or weekly to give information about the (new) products of the company.
However, you saw in a report that only 1,2 percent of the whole list opens those mails. You also know, since you did a course on the subject, that this is really low. Because a standard company would have at least had an opening rate of 17% as a response to their mails.
You also know that the reason for this low rate is that your company has no idea about who their clients really are. What are their specific interests? What is their age-group? Where do they live?
So, these campaigns are a bit like “shooting with hail”. The campaigns are not targeted, since the target (the clients) who they really are and what information they want, is unknown.
A lot of time is now spent, 3 teams of 4 people working approximately 20 hours a week on campaign’s, with hardly any result. This means a lot of time and waisted money. You think that this needs to change.
The above is my “situation”.
What is your situation or problem that you would like to make a persuasive talk for? Take 10 minutes to type it down.
Congratulation this was your first step. It has started!
Now, leave it for half a day. Then look at it again (5 minutes) at the end of the day. This is a crucial step to get it right!!!
Why do you need to leave it for now?
You need to get distance first. To use a metaphor, you have to climb the mountain and look at the landscape from a distance to see the essential parts more clearly and get to the core. So, you can later on get rid of the superfluous or unclear parts.
Did you leave it for half a day or a couple of hours?
Ok. Now read your situation again. Does it make sense? Does the audience immediately get it after hearing this?
If not, make the necessary changes.
You can use the “5 most common pitfalls of explaining “the situation” list down below, to check it.
- You need way too many words and sentences to explain the situation Make it more concise, sharper, clearer with the situation still intact. Delete superfluous sentences and add key parts that might be missing.Often, when you talk or write about the situation for the first time you need way too many sentences and words to explain it. This makes it unnecessarily confusing for your audience. Hence, the leaving it to simmer for a while, so you can get to the core.
- There is not really a problem in there. Yes, really this happens often! Make the problem clear! Is information lacking? Is an important step missing? Are the goals not clear enough? What is the problem?
- “The situation” is not concrete enough.
a) Try adding numbers to make “the situation” more concrete, when possible.In my situation I could say, 3 teams of 12 people work weekly 20 hours on these campaigns. “So, all in all this means 12 x 20 hours is 240 hours wasted, that could be spend so much more targeted.”
b) Or describe the scene, so the audience can really see it.“Imagine/Picture this 12 people typing for 5 hours every day of the week, and on the other side, the majority of our clients, that as soon as they see our name in the e-mail delete it. Since, what pops in their minds is, this information is not for me, it does not inspire or interest me. It is waste. And they instantly press the “delete” button.”
- The audience does not understand or is confused. Everything you say, should instantly make sense and be understandably for your audience. So, no jargon or being too abstract. Hence, the leaving it to simmer for a while. So, the mubo jumbo is cooked out of it and only the golden nuggets are in view.
In my example. If I fail to explain what I mean with “the situation” in this mail and do not give an example of it. You would be confused and not read on, because it is simply too abstract and not clear.
- Forgetting to mention THE EFFECTS of the undesirable current situation. For you it might seem self-explanatory. But this does not mean it is always like that for you audience. Be explicit, about it. Mention the undesirable effects of the current situation! In my case, mention “shooting with hail” or this is a lot of time and money wasted, for hardly any result.
Did you lay it against the yardstick? Is all of the above clear?
Great congratulation! You finished your first and one of the most important steps.
Why one of the most important steps?
Because, if “the situation” is not clear. Your audience will already have fallen of the wagon before you have even started with the other 4 steps. And the energy spend on them, will be in vain.
You have to be as clear as christal. The more concise and concrete you can do it, the better.
Do you want me to check it? Send your situation to me and I will have a look! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now reward yourself for finishing your first step! Make yourself a nice cup of tea and get ready for step 2 tomorrow!
This will be a super quick one.
To more grip, impact and presenting pleasure!