Maximize Your Influence

Structuring Persuasive Presentations

Why should we be concerned with the structure of a persuasive presentation? Top predictor of professional success is how much you enjoy and how good you are at public speaking.   Studies also show the ability to give presentations was ranked as the most critical skill needed to move up in today‚Äôs business environment.


Before we jump into the meat of this topic, remember as you prepare your persuasive message that you want to focus on one defined issue. You are not there to persuade on ten different points. Stay focused and steer clear of sensitive issues that aren't on your original agenda. In other words, don't inadvertently offend your audience on one issue when your focus in on another. The structure of your persuasive message should follow the pattern discussed below.


  1. Create Interest

You have to generate an interest about your chosen topic. Your audience needs a reason to listen: Why should they care? What's in it for them? How can you help them? A message that starts with a really good reason to listen will grab the attention of the audience, enabling you to continue with the message. Without this attention, there is no hope of getting your message across.


  1. State the Problem

You must clearly define the problem you are trying to solve. The best pattern for a persuasive presentation is to find a problem and relate how it affects the audience. In this way, you show them a problem they have and why it is of concern to them. Why is this a problem to your audience?  


  1. Offer Evidence

This is the support you give to your argument. Evidence validates your claims and offers proof that your argument is correct. It allows your audience to rely on other sources besides you. Evidence can include examples, statistics, testimonies, analogies, and any other supporting material used to enhance the integrity and congruency of your message.


  1. Present a Solution

You have gained your audience's interest and provided evidence in support of your message; now you must solve their problem. You present the argument you want them to believe and satisfy the need you have identified or created. You have created dissonance and now you are providing the solution. How can your product meet their needs and wants and help them achieve their goals?


  1. Call to Action

A persuasive message is not true persuasion if your audience does not know exactly what they need to do. Be specific and precise. In order to complete the solution to their problem, they must take action. This is the climax, the peak of your logic and emotion. The prescribed actions must be feasible. Make your call to action as easy as possible.


Using this type of structure facilitates people's acceptance of your message and clarifies what you want them to do. We all have a logical side to our mind, which results in our need for order and arrangement. If we don't sense some sort of structure, we tend to become confused. If you can't be clear, concise, and orderly, your prospect will find someone else who is.


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Category:Business -- posted at: 8:00am CDT