Where It All Begins: Your Listeners

You can’t pass go, you can’t collect $200 (let alone $20,000 or $200,000 for your next initiative) if you haven’t gone through the first step:

That’s right. Rephrase your agenda to meet theirs, instead.

Since our goal is to influence others and to persuade them to take action, we can’t talk all about ourselves.

We must step back and ask ourselves some key questions about the audience. This is a critical first step in the process even – or especially – if you know your listener(s) well – for example, your team, your boss, or a key client. While you may have worked with them for years, and understand how they think about and approach a situation, that doesn’t mean that their same opinions, thoughts, and goals translate directly to another subject.

What should you say?

All depends on who’s listening.

 

Influence with a Point of View

What’s your point of view? It’s not a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have” – and let me tell you why: It’s hard to argue with getting better results. But don’t just take my word for it. Recently, a self-proclaimed “Decker Super-Fan” (for reference – she’s taken Communicate … Continue reading

What Do I Do with My Hands?

You’re standing at the front of a room of people. All eyes are on you. You know your content – phew. But there’s a nagging question that jumps to mind… (cue the video, below) We don’t advocate the politician gesture, and we’re not out to make everyone in business into a … Continue reading

Lightening Up!

True or False: To be taken seriously, you have to be serious? False. People buy on emotion and justify with fact. Whether we’re presenting at a quarterly business review (QBR), in front of your board or simply touching base in a one-on-one meeting, we have to be light! But don’t just take … Continue reading

Video Blog: Get creative with your visual aids

Using a PowerPoint deck soon? Remember: even when you’re using a slide deck in a presentation, you’re not a slave to it. Believe it or not, you can still break up the talk by utilizing other visuals. You can still walk to a different part of the room, away from … Continue reading

Video Blog: Influence with Crystallize/Break

Be unexpected. You’ve heard that adding an element of surprise is a good way to grab attention. But how? What can you do to suddenly have a more unexpected message? A tool called crystallize/break from Made to Stick is one great way to build unexpectedness in your message. Watch today’s … Continue reading

Video Blog: Change your perspective

Ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels? You’ve made a compelling argument, or a strong pitch, but somehow people still aren’t taking action. Just because you say the “right” words, you can’t assume people will get what you mean and be moved. In order to influence and drive change, your … Continue reading

Video Blog: Consider your electronic personality

Let’s say we have a meeting coming up. We think about what our Power Point deck looks like, what we’re going to wear, and even whether to staple or paperclip our handouts. Meetings only happen so often. But we’re sending out emails, tweets, and posts every few minutes all day … Continue reading

Video Blog: Tell a story to land your point

Recently, I coached an executive who shared a great example of business storytelling, as an alternative to getting bogged down in data speak. I now share it so you keep using SHARPs (Stories, Humor, Analogies, References & Quotes, Pictures & Visuals) to drive your points and lead others to action. Enjoy! … Continue reading

Video Blog: Steve Jobs motivated with numbers

Before coming up for air from the new Steve Jobs biography, I stumbled across a great example of how to motivate people by using graspable numbers. We call this a SHARP (Stories, Humor, Analogies, References and Quotes, Pictures and Visuals) using human scale statistics, which we’ve covered before but will again because … Continue reading