Making your presentations more persuasive is as much about what you do as what you say.
Here are four tips for making your communication more persuasive
1. Take Time to Build Rapport
When you have rapport with someone, there is an atmosphere of trust and confidence between you that makes the other person more likely to respond positively to what you say. Although there are techniques you can use to accelerate rapport, it has to be earned.
You create rapport by being willing to meet the other person where they are rather than trying to drag them where you want them to be. The biggest mistake most people make in any type of communication is trying to communicate from their own perspective rather than trying to relate to where their audience currently is.
Making time to get to know your audience, whatever the size, makes it much simpler to create rapport and make communication more effective. You create rapport when you use that knowledge to change the way you communicate to suit your audience.
2. Model Successful Communicators
One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to notice what works well for others and then to incorporate elements of what you see into your own behavior. Modeling is not about copying people. That's often illegal and it doesn't usually work. However, if you learn what makes other people good at something, you can use that experience to improve your own performance.
The key to successful modeling is that it's not just about watching what people do, it's as much about understanding how they think and what they believe. Take advantage of any opportunity to talk to speakers you admire and read as much as possible about them.
3. Always Be Authentic
To become a great presenter, you need to be yourself. One of the secrets of the best speakers is that they appear natural. They seem to be the same person when performing as they are face to face.
Too many people try to invent a persona that they use in presentations as they think that's what is needed. And many people are put off doing presentations at they feel they will never be as good as someone else. The truth is it doesn't matter. People are interested in what you have to say not in your speaking abilities.
Former US President Ronald Reagan is now called the Great Communicator but that's as much for the way his natural personality shows through as for great public speaking skills.
You can improve your speaking skills by enhancing your abilities. But speaking successfully is about using your existing abilities to their full advantage.
Be natural and you will get your desired outcome.
4. Value and Respond to Feedback
Like most things in life, giving presentations is a process of constant improvement - no matter how good you are.
In order to be able to improve, you must:
- Be willing to accept feedback constructively: If you want to improve, listen to what people say and incorporate it next time. Accepting feedback doesn't mean you have to do what others say but all feedback helps you be aware of what works for you most of the time and what doesn't.
- Actively seek opportunities for feedback: If you seriously want to improve your presentation skills, you should actively encourage feedback. Hand out surveys at the end of a presentation or ask someone you know well in the audience for some comments. Try to find people who will be both honest and encouraging.
- Keep doing more: The best way to improve is to keep getting more practice so that you improve your skills, incorporate more of what you learn and build your confidence.
Following these four secrets will help you build your persuasive presentation skills easily and confidently.