Persuasiveness: The Power of Personality

Research shows that when people need help getting a job done, they’ll choose a congenial colleague over a more capable one. This tendency has big implications for every organization–and for everyone who seeks to be persuasive as a presenter.

When given the choice of whom to work with, people will pick one person over another for any number of reasons: the prestige of being associated with a star performer, for example, or the hope that spending time with a ...

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Know your audience

I recently spoke at an industry event on the subject of differentiating your message.  I was invited to speak by someone who knows my work as a communication coach who told me that there would be a variety of people from the industry there; those who call on large organizations, and those who meet with smaller clients—two very different sales processes.

I worked hard on the talk trying to balance the needs of the two groups, but after speaking with ...

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Manna falls

I’m on my way to the office from the gym, feeling hungry and wondering what I can have for breakfast that won’t take too much time, when I pass the Hunger Construction Baked Potato Food Truck.   Two guys in the truck are arranging homemade goodies wrapped in cellophane in the high display window.  One of the goodies falls out of the window onto the sidewalk at my feet.

“Can I pick that up for you?” I ask.

“If you don’t mind, ...

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How to be a good panelist

Whenever I’ve been a panelist, I start out thinking it’s easy—a no brainer—and then, as I get closer to the event, I change my mind.  I begin to realize that I will be on display for all to see and hear and that it represents an opportunity to create a positive impression and contribute to the dialogue in my industry.

Because I have yet to meet a moderator who is willing and able to coordinate, prep, and coach his/her panelists, ...

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8 Great Bold, Stern and Wise Presentation Tips from the Supremes

You want to get ready for prime time as a persuasive speaker?  Then read these instructions to lawyers, issued by the Supreme Court, on how to address the Justices.  The rules are highly relevant for any business speaker who is addressing a group of senior decision makers.

Speak to be heard

The document gets right into basics. The very first sentence reads: “You should speak in a clear, distinct manner, and try to avoid a monotone delivery.”

Sameness is ...

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Public speaking: Off the cuff is off limits

A gaffe has been described as “speaking the truth by mistake.”  Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.  It’s more like saying what you really think at that point in time, which is different from speaking the truth.

Both the Romney and Obama camps have had occasion to point fingers.  One said poor people are dependent on the government, think of themselves as victims, and don’t pay taxes; the other characterized the rural poor as “clinging to guns and religion.”

Politics ...

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