Communication Skills: The Art of Persuasive Communication (for Beginners) | Alex Lyon | Skillshare

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Communication Skills: The Art of Persuasive Communication (for Beginners)

teacher avatar Alex Lyon, Communication Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

23 Lessons (1h 43m)
    • 1. Welcome & Course Overview

    • 2. Moving from an Informative to Persuasive Message

    • 3. Tailoring Your Message to Specific Listeners

    • 4. Increasing Your Identification with Listeners

    • 5. Your Credibility as a Speaker (Ethos)

    • 6. Communicating Your Competence

    • 7. Communicating Your Character

    • 8. Communicating Your Goodwill

    • 9. Appealing to Listeners' Emotions (Pathos)

    • 10. How to Tell Stories to Appeal to Listeners' Emotions

    • 11. How to Use Creative Language to Add Impact

    • 12. How to Use Your Emotions: Emotional Contagion

    • 13. Appealing to Listeners' Minds (Logos)

    • 14. Practical Ways to Appeal to Listeners' Minds

    • 15. How to Design Your Overall Message for Maximum Persuasion

    • 16. How to Hook Your Listeners

    • 17. How to Show Listeners the Real Problem that Needs to be Fixed

    • 18. How to Explain Your Solution Clearly

    • 19. How to Help Listeners Visualize the Benefits of Your Solution

    • 20. How to Explain the Potential Downside to Stay Ethical & Maintain Credibility

    • 21. How to Make Your "Ask" the Easy Way

    • 22. Putting it All Into Practice (Application, Review, and Template Walk-Through)

    • 23. Wrap Up & Next Steps

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About This Class

This step-by-step course shows you how to craft your message in the most persuasive way possible. You'll learn how to bring listeners along with you on the journey from Point A to Point B.

The course was created with people like small business owners or entrepreneurs who have to meet with potential clients, non-profit advocates who want to raise awareness or support, and professionals who need to convince internal stakeholders to partner with them on their important projects.

The lessons can be applied to various communication situations like public speaking messages, group meetings, and one-on-one conversations. Please note: The course is not about how you actually stand up and present live and in the moment. It's about how you craft and shape your message beforehand so it has maximum impact. Additionally, the course is not about sales, "hard selling," or any closing sales techniques. In fact, quite the opposite. The course teaches good, fundamental principles of ethical persuasion that everyday professionals can use with integrity.

The course includes lessons in the following: 

  • How to customize your message to listeners' interests

  • How to create a greater sense of identification between you and your listeners

  • How to boost your credibility

  • How to engage listeners' minds and emotions with your message

  • How to design your talking points for maximum persuasive flow

  • The course provides two speaking templates to speed up your preparation and ensure a well-crafted message

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alex Lyon

Communication Professor


Hello there, friend. I make courses to help emerging leaders build their communication skills. I believe that good leadership and communication change lives. I formed this belief when I was young. My first few bosses made a big impact on me. Some of my supervisors were excellent but others had weak leadership skills that made everything worse. Now that I am a leader and supervisor myself, I want to help as many new leaders as possible increase their impact so they can lead their teams with excellence.

I've been a full-time college Professor, consultant, and speaker for almost 20 years. I published my first book in 2016. 

Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin:

See full profile

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1. Welcome & Course Overview: I'd like to tell you about a course I made called the Art Off Persuasive Communication for beginners. By the end of it, you will have all the tools you need to craft a compelling message for your intended audience and do it, of course, in an ethical way. As I was making the course, I was thinking about individuals like this, a professional who wants to convince her boss to support an important project. A member of a local organization who wants to persuade listeners to donate money to a Children's charity. An independent business person who has an upcoming meeting with a potential client. If you see yourself in these profiles or somewhere in between, the course might be a good fit for you. But I'd like to clarify. The course is not about how you stand up and present in the moment. It's about designing a persuasive message before you stand up to deliver it. All the lessons can be used to prepare a public speaking message, but you can also adapt it to fit a one on one conversation or a small group meeting. The course is also not about how to close a sale or do any kind of hard selling That is just not me. The essence of the course is about crafting a strong message that reaches and moves your listeners in terms of my background. I'm Alex Lyon. I've been a college professor and part time speaker and consultant for over 15 years. On communication and leadership, I wrote a book. I have other online courses and a successful YouTube channel. This course combines all these experiences to give you time tested and actionable help. In the course, you get over 20 lessons over an hour and 1/2 of video content. The lessons will show you how to customize your message to listeners interests, how to create a stronger sense of identification between you and your audience, how to appeal to listeners, minds and their emotions and how to design your talking points for maximum persuasive benefit. Each lesson ends with an action step that you can put into practice right away, but if you prefer, you can watch the course all the way through and go back later to craft your message. The course also includes several downloadable templates that you can use to stay on track and put the course into action. So if this course sounds like a good fit for you, I invite you to dive in and get started. The first lesson is about clarifying the difference between informative and truly persuasive communication. So you can begin to craft the message you'd like to share. I hope to see you in the course. 2. Moving from an Informative to Persuasive Message: By the end of this lesson, you will have a starting place for your persuasive message. To get there. We're going to talk about the differences between informing versus persuading your listeners. This difference shapes your whole message. Informative communication happens when you provide your listeners some information they need to know or you show them how to do something. Examples would be how to presentations, tutorials or other educational messages. Most professionals do this type of informative communication all the time. Persuasive communication is different. It attempts to move a listener from A to B to change their minds, change their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. And professionals in all careers in all industries have to do this at some point. Persuasive communications much more sophisticated than informative speaking because it has that element of risk where listeners might not be convinced. But I want to clarify that persuasive communication is not about using personal charisma or psychological tricks. It's about how you shape your message to bring listeners along with you. From point A to point B. Let's look at an example of an informative versus persuasive message so you can related to the message you'd like to share and we'll look at a bottom line statement for a presentation. What that might sound like. Academic people call this your argument. Your thesis statement. I use thes words interchangeably, but they all mean the same thing. It's the big idea you'd share in your introduction that drives the rest of your message. If you're giving a presentation on personal finance, for example, an informative bottom line statement might sound like this will be looking at three ways to save for retirement. That's just informative. That sounds like the way a speaker might educate listeners. And there's not much there you could disagree with. It just says what your message will cover. A persuasive bottom line statement on the same general topic might sound like this. I'm going to show you that the most powerful way to become financially independent is to invest in your employer's 401 K program. This is a persuasive message because it takes a position or offers a point of view. It takes a stand on the best way to invest, so some listeners will need convincing that you would then do in the rest of this hypothetical presentation. Let's try another one about health and fitness. Ah, bottom line. Informative statement might sound like this. We'll cover some of the latest research about how to eat healthy and stay fit. This is informative again because it just describes. But a persuasive bottom line takes a clear position. I'll show you that getting in shape is 80% about what you eat, and only 20% about how you exercise. Listeners might hear this statement and say, You know, I'm not sure about that. They're still at position A, and you have to move them to position. Be as you build a persuasive case and the rest of your message to get them to agree. Now let's put this into action. Answer these three questions for the message that you'd like to share one. What is the topic that you are going to speak about generally, too? What is your listeners starting place? In other words, what is their starting position? A. And three right out a draft bottom line statement that shows what you want them to believe or do by the ends. In other words, what position be do you want to move them to and you can use the bottom line statements. We looked at as examples in this lesson, and I suggest you actually write it down. But if you prefer to just take a mental note for now, you can come back and work on this later. But either way, we're going to build on this message as we move forward in other lessons and the next lesson, we'll look at how you can be more persuasive by tailoring your message to your particular audience. 3. Tailoring Your Message to Specific Listeners: a person I know was once trying to push some multi level marketing program on me. Now I was obviously not interested, but that person ignored that and kept pitching me. You do not want to be like this person. Big picture. It all comes down to this. People don't want you to pitch to them. They want their problem solved. To be persuasive, you have to know what your listeners care about. A customized message is a persuasive message, and that's why we have to do what we call audience analysis. The best way to learn about your audiences by asking good questions beforehand so you can tailor your message to them specifically. So let's talk about how to do that. If you already know your listeners, well, then you are one step ahead. And if that's your situation, then pull the parts out of this lesson that make the most sense in your case. But since I don't know who you're speaking with, I'll assume you're speaking to new listeners. So first, who is your listener? Start with basic demographic information like, How old are your listeners? What gender? What's their education level? Does their income level matter for the message that you're sharing. Are your listeners and actual group like an organization, or are they a collection of people from different places? Questions like these will help you draw an initial picture so you can begin to tailor your message to them. Second, what do your listeners care about? What struggle specifically do they have that you can help them with what they value? What are their priorities? For instance, do they want to advance their careers? Do they want better relationships that they want to find deeper meaning and significance in their lives So they want to get in shape? Do they want to cut costs or maybe increase profits? And third, what is the ideal solution or best case scenario look like to them? Do they want to fix things as quickly as possible, for example, or is low cost their priority? Are they looking for a high quality, customized experience? In other words, what's their preferred way to deal with what they care about? For me, when I speak to professionals, I speak almost exclusively to emerging leaders. My listeners are between age 25 40 both men and women. They have bachelor's or graduate degrees, in some cases professionally, Most of them have a lot of technical experience, so they work in I t finance biology. They're good at math. That's their profile. Second, in terms of what I can help them with, they want to round out their leadership skills to complement their technical skills, their third there. How their best case scenario ideal solution is they want to learn in small group workshops with me why I teach them a skill. They practice it, they get feedback and they keep getting better until they see results. So they want that first class customized coaching type experience. I take those answers and an I tailor my message to that particular audience. And when I'm getting ready to talk with a new potential client who may want me to come in and do a workshop, I planned my message based upon who they are, the problem they want solved and what they want that solution to look like. And that's what I want you to do. So your action step is this. Do some research and get to know your listener. Create a profile for them. You can start right now based upon what you already know. Answer these three questions to began Number one. Who are they? Liston's many details, as are helpful to What do they care about? What do they want? In other words, what problem do they want solved that you can help with? And three. What were their ideal solution? Look like? Answer these three questions, and that's your starting place for an audience analysis. And it's a really important process because a customized message is a persuasive message in our next lesson will look at how you as the speaker fit into this equation. 4. Increasing Your Identification with Listeners: in the last lesson. We talked about getting clear on your listeners interests in this lesson. We're going to talk about how you can bring what your listeners care about and what you care about together. The gold of this lesson is to communicate those points of similarity so your listeners see that you are just like them. This is an incredibly persuasive approach. Kenneth Burka, famous writer on Persuasion, calls this process identification. That's when one person sees that another person is like them in some way. If you have ever said to yourself, You know, I really identify with that person, then you know what this feels like when you are in the listener's shoes. So your job as a speaker is to communicate in ways to help your listeners identify with you . The greater the overlap between you and your audience, the greater the identification and the more persuasive you will be. There are three ways to do this. According to Burke, the first way is to articulate any common ground you share with your listeners. This strategy is called the Common Ground Strategy. So what do you have in common with your listeners, like where you grew up, went to school favorite sports teams or occupation. What priorities do you both care about? Brainstorm literally everything you have in common with your listeners. And if I were speaking to a client in Rhode Island, for example, where I grew up, I would weave in my experiences from Rhode Island. If I were speaking to a group of College Department cheers, I would be sure to mention that I was also a department year. I'd show them that we stand on common ground. I would we've information like this into my message wherever it fit, most naturally, and each listener or group will have different potential commonalities with you. The second way to create identification is by articulating a common enemy. Burke actually calls this the anti thesis strategy, but we'll just call it the common enemy. And there are two parts to this. What common enemy or common problem? You might say. Do you and your listeners both share? You'd use this idea of a common enemy to increase your identification with your listeners. So what are you both passionate about? Are you both fighting against poverty? For example, do you both want to stop eating junk food. Are you both trying to cut costs, Then, with your words? You position yourself as partners with your listeners in the same fight. It could be any issue that concerns you both. The second part of the common enemy strategy is equally powerful. Who are you? Both not. And you have to be ethical about this. But who does your listener want to see themselves as different from? I do this by calling people up to a higher standard compared to who they used to be their former self, you might say, when I talked to emerging leaders, I say to them, We're not individual contributors anymore. We're not. Junior employees were leaders now, and you can see a click like Oh, yeah, I was that person. But now I want to be a leader. And here's why. This is so persuasive. One of the ways people see who they are is in contrast to who they're not. And so that's part of our identity. And when we define ourselves and our listeners both as who we are not anymore, it's really persuasive because it pulls you and your listeners together. It puts you on the same team But again, you have to promise me to use this ethically because you don't ever want to paint another group of people as if they are the enemy. Never make it sound like others have less inherent value or worth than you in your listeners that can get really toxic. Always use this common enemy strategy to call people to a higher standard, a better version compared to who they were to show them who they can become. The third way to build identification with listeners is through what we call the assumed we . This means that as a speaker, you literally want to use plural words like we us, our that position you and your audience as belonging to the same collective. It's not me, the speaker, you the listener, it's we us. Our, for example. In real life, I'm a supervisor, and when I speak to emerging leaders, I sometimes use phrases like as supervisors, we are there to help our people or our priority as supervisors is, too, and I finished the rest. Plural collective words like this pull you and your listeners together. It's persuasive because listeners were literally say themselves. He knows what it's like because he's in the same situation and this is a bit like the common ground technique. But it's much more specific in that you're using those plural phrases that put a symbolic circle around you and the listeners that make you both the same subject. Let's put these three strategies into practice. Pick a listener or group number one for the common ground strategy. Brainstorm a list of all the things you have in common with your listener. Two. For the common enemy strategy right down in plain language. What common issues you both care about that you want to solve, and what former version of themselves can. You used to call them to a higher standard for who they want to become. In other words, who are you both? Not anymore. And three. The assumed we strategy. What words or phrases can you use in your message To show that you're both on the same team ? Answer these questions and keep them handy As you craft your overall persuasive message. Look from natural places to weave these strategies in and watch as your listeners begin to see that you are just like them 5. Your Credibility as a Speaker (Ethos): do you know anybody who is easy to believe? They probably have what we call good ethos. Long ago, Aristotle taught us about time tested methods of persuasion. He's might sound academic, but I don't know any pro level speaker who doesn't take this seriously. We're going to look at the way ethos, pathos and logos will make you a much more persuasive communicator, and this lesson will cover your persuasive appeal as a speaker. Ethos is the perceived credibility of the speaker for our purposes. It means your credibility or your believability in the minds of your listeners. Various experts today use slightly different terms. I'd say James McCroskey, a famous researcher, studied the dimensions of credibility more than anyone else. He boiled it down to these three dimensions. Listeners find a communicator credible or believable if number one they communicate their competence. People want to listen to a speaker who knows what they're talking about. Listeners want to know you're an authority on a subject or even an expert. So in contrast, let's say you are listening to a speaker who is talking about how to have a good marriage, and then you find out this person has never been married and does not have any kind of education in this area. You might start to wonder if they knew what they were talking about. In other words, it would hurt perceptions about their competence. Number two listeners want to know that you have good character. They want to know that you are trustworthy, honest and somebody that they can put their faith in. In contrast, if a speaker stole a story from another source and claimed it was about them personally, which I have seen happen, then it would damage perceptions about their character. Three listeners want to know you have goodwill toward them, that you have good intentions toward your listeners. If a speaker had a condescending tone or made unflattering comments about their listeners, which I have seen happen in a lot of occasions, believe it or not, that would hurt listeners opinions about the speaker's goodwill or intention toward the audience. So, to be more persuasive, you want to boost perceptions of your competence, character and goodwill, and the next three lessons will look at the specific practical ways you can do this in your message 6. Communicating Your Competence: this lesson will build your credibility by giving you six concrete ways to help you come across as more competent. Number one. Let's talk about general appearance now. Like it or not, your appearance is part of your first impression. So you want to look put together enough, at least to the point where you're not a distraction. The rule of thumb, miss. Address at least as nice as your audience or maybe one notch higher. It's usually acceptable to wear a suit when presenting in professional settings. But if your audience is more casual, don't over dress. It will make it seem like you're out of touch. You should also be clean, well, grooms and get a fresh haircut for more formal occasions. Number two. Here's a great technique that professional speakers used to build their credibility. If somebody is there to introduce you, give them a card beforehand with talking points on it that they can use to introduce you, especially if there's anybody there you don't know yet. On the card should be a quick list of facts about yourself, your education background, relevant professional positions, practical experience that establish you and your competence on this topic. thes are highlights that connect you to your message. And it should all fit on one card and be no longer than 20 seconds for that person to read . The great part about this is that somebody else is. They're building your credibility for you before you even speak three. If nobody is introducing you, then you share these highlights yourself. Some people call this your credibility statement. It goes in the introduction of your message. But don't open with it. Put it somewhere in the middle of your presentation introduction and it's just three sentences like 15 to 20 seconds. I usually start with a phrase like if we haven't met yet. And then I mentioned that I have been teaching college and consulting for 15 years. I wrote a book on communication and leadership, and I publish original research and I'm a supervisor of a department. So use just three short sentences that all connect you to your message. And I like to start with a phrase like if we haven't met yet, So it sounds like I'm just introducing myself. So here are some other lead and phrases as far as my background goes or let me tell you a little bit about myself, so you know where I'm coming from. Elite and phrase like this makes it sound more conversational and less like you're giving them your resume. Number four in the body of your presentation. You can also demonstrate your competence even more by sharing stories that show how you are a living example off your message. It's like a success story. Your real life experiences show that you have gone on the journey you're asking your listeners to take if you're speaking to raise money for a charity, For example, talk about what made you so passionate about that charity in the first place, how you got involved and what it's meant to you. There's nothing like success stories and Rhea world experiences and a track record to show your competence. I recommend picking some places on your speaking outline. Two. We've examples and stories in, so they support whatever point you're making at that point in your presentation. So integrate these stories where they make the most sense. Five. Use high quality research and information. This shows that you know your stuff because you're well versed in what other experts are saying so when you're preparing, bring the best of what you've researched into the discussion site. Good research studies and quote other experts to support your points. The whole secret to using good research is that you use the credibility of other experts to build your own credibility. Number six. Be super prepared to speak. You may know a lot about the topic you're talking about check, but you also want to show your competence. As a speaker, you have probably seen speakers who are supposed to be experts, but they are poor communicators, and this hurts their credibility. So practice your message like crazy. As a rule of thumb, I'd say Practice your entire message at least 10 times. I'm not saying memorize it word for word that will sound robotic and it's not persuasive. I'm talking about practicing enough so that you sound confident and sound conversational. Practice enough so you only have to glance at your notes about once or so per minute practice. Enough said that you know what's coming next, and you're not searching for a way to say it. You're speaking. Competence will build your overall credibility. Let's take the first step to put this into practice. You can do all six of these, but let's start by preparing your mini self introduction. Talking points. This is the 15 to 22nd credibility statement in your introduction. Star with the lead in phrase, and then list three bullets about your background, and I'll get you started with this lead in phrase right down as far as my background on this topic. And then you list your education, training or research on your topic. List your professional and real world positions that relate to your topic. List any kind of practical experiences, accomplishments or results on your topic and then sharpen it down so you can say it and no more than 20 seconds. And if you're lacking in any of these areas like you don't have a formal education in what you're speaking about, then just leave that out and expand on one of the other talking points. And the next lesson. We're going to look at two more ways to build your credibility, your character and your good will 7. Communicating Your Character: Let's talk about specific ways to boost your credibility by communicating your character number one. Clearly, the best way to do this is by actually having good character. This is why the word ethos looks like the word ethics. When people talk about persuasion, somebody will usually bring up the importance of communicating ethically. This means being honest and telling the truth. If you're a good person, you'll communicate this trustworthiness and lots of small ways that you may not even realize you'll be honest. You'll tell the truth, but let's do a gut check to make sure. Do you ever spin the truth for your benefit? Years ago, my wife told me that I sometimes exaggerated. When I told stories about the old days, they were fun stories, and I was trying to make them even better by playing them up. Now that might sound harmless, but some people see exaggeration or spin like this a mile away, and it can be a really character issue for them. After that, I made a resolution to not exaggerate, even in funny stories. I my father now and I want to set a good example for my son. The number one thing is to be honest and truthful. Number two. There are phrases to avoid that will hurt perceptions about your character. So avoid saying things like Trust me, You've got to believe me. I wouldn't lie to you. In all honesty, research shows that these sound defensive and will plant a seed of doubt about your character in the minds of your listeners. Number three. Communicate your character by sharing examples and stories that illustrate who you are. You want to let people get to know you and see what you're made of. Listeners want to see a more well rounded version of you, not just a strictly professional role that you play. This can feel like a risk because self disclosing information makes us feel exposed. But it's worth it. Like a moment ago I told you about my wife calling me out on exaggerating stories from the old days, and that short example gave you information about who I am. It shows you that I'm a husband and a father, and I hope it shows even though I'm in perfect. My character is improving. Let's make this actionable by doing a self assessment, since character begins inside internally give yourself an honest evaluation for these questions. Do you ever exaggerate when you're speaking, or are you honest and truthful? Do you use defensive phrases like Trust me or I wouldn't lie to you? Or do you speak with a clear conscience? Are you closed off about who you are or are you open? So consider your answers to these questions. Do your answers reveal anything about your character that needs work? If so, then get to work on your mindset and internal world, and also how that comes out through your communication behaviors. 8. Communicating Your Goodwill: next, let's be sure to communicate your goodwill and your good intention to your listeners. I have a saying. If you show your listeners that you're on their side, they will get on your side. And that's what communicating goodwill and good intention is all about. Here are two concrete ways to do it. I see this first and foremost as a mindset issue. The question is, when you're preparing to speak, are you thinking more about the benefits your listeners will get, or more about what you'll get because listeners air going to feel it if you're trying to extract something from them instead, as you're preparing, develop a mindset of trying to help them get the best possible outcome. You should be offering listeners much more value than they are expecting. Goodwill and being ethical means taking a genuine win win approach to communication never manipulation. So when your goal is to genuinely help your listeners get what they want, that will build your credibility and make you much more persuasive to take the focus off of you and focus on helping your listeners and your good intention toward them will shine through number two. When you're presenting communicate in a kind, caring and respectful, good natured tone. As you're preparing and speaking, empathize and pull yourself in your listeners shoes and then communicate that way. In contrast, you don't want to communicate in an annoyed or frustrated tone. Sometimes speakers get Ah, little bit of an attitude, and it's probably because they feel insecure. But if you come across like you're looking down on your listeners and you don't value them , then that's not good. So be aware of your general tone and attitude, your expressed to make sure you're showing kindness, caring and a good natured disposition. And here's part of that. Make sure you treat anybody helping like gold, not just your listeners. I've seen speakers criticized like the person doing sound or setting up or even snapping at their personal assistant. Your listeners will pick up on that, and this bad reputation can really follow a speaker. So before you even show up, put yourself in a goodwill mindset toward everybody. You want to be the most caring, good natured person in the whole room, so let's make this practical. Do a self assessment like we did for character. Answer these questions when you're preparing. How much time do you spend thinking about what you want versus what your listeners want out of it? Does the tone that you project toward others give off shades of negativity like annoyance or frustration? Or do you project a positive, helpful attitude? If you're not sure, what would other people say about the attitude you're giving off? So answer these questions and do a little self assessment. Do your answers show you anything that needs work like character. Goodwill begins internally, and it's a mindset, and then it comes out and small ways through the way you communicate. So be sure that you work on both your mindset and your behavior. Like I said, when you show your listeners that you're on their side, they will get on your side. 9. Appealing to Listeners' Emotions (Pathos): in this lesson, we're going to talk about appealing to your listeners emotions. We call this the pathos of your message. It's helpful for me to think about the difference between appealing to listeners, hearts versus their minds. Pathos is all about aiming your message for listeners hearts. And I've said it many times, and I've heard it myself. People are persuaded by their emotions, but they leader justify or rationalize those decisions. So we need to appeal to both hearts and minds. But if you really want to master persuasive communication, you have to get your listeners to care emotionally. Now I want to make a distinction that confuses some people Appealing to listeners. Emotions does not necessarily mean that you, as a speaker have toe act dramatically or get emotional. It's about crafting your message in a way that engages listeners emotions that touches the humanity in them. In some way, movies are a perfect example of this. We pay good money to see movies that get us to feel something. Think about your favorite movies. We see stories about overcoming tragedy and hardship stories about love, courage, family loyalty, self sacrifice, good overcoming evil. These are the kinds of messages that aim for our hearts. Now, sometimes negative emotions have their place if used wisely, ethically and in small doses. But I believe it's much more persuasive when we tap into the more inspirational emotions, like when we see a story go from a hard place to a better place. Those are the kinds of stories that sweep us away and that listeners want to be a part of. In the next lesson, we'll look at a few concrete and actionable ways that you can use this same Hollywood emotional appeal to make your message more persuasive. 10. How to Tell Stories to Appeal to Listeners' Emotions: we're going to get super actionable in this lesson and show you how to use stories to appeal to listeners. Emotions. The absolute number One best way to engage listeners, emotions and be more persuasive is by telling stories. This is Hollywood's secret to success. Great movies tell great stories, and here is a simple reason why, when listeners hear a good story, they see themselves in it. They relate to the characters they identify and empathize with the emotions and struggles of the people in the stories. Stories take people's imagination from point A to point B, and that's what persuasion is all about, bringing people along with you. Now, unlike Hollywood, you want to make sure your stories air riel genuine and authentic. So, for your message tells stories that bring your message to life, facts and statistics are important. We'll talk about those in another lesson, but stories. They transport us to another place and engages emotionally. So let's answer some common questions stories about what the short answer is stories about other people or about you. If you're trying to raise money for medical treatment for kids, tell stories about a specific child that was suffering but then received the help he needed through the organization you're raising money for. Stories could also come from your personal experience. If you're trying to persuade listeners to pay off their debts, tell them about the struggle of getting rid of your crippling debt and then the psychological freedom you've experienced. Now that you are debt free. A similar question is. Where do you find stories? Well, virtually anywhere. They don't have to come from a huge, memorable event. You'll find them when you're reading and researching your message, you'll hear them in conversations with friends. They'll come from your own personal life. Potential stories are everywhere. How long should your stories be? Well, if you're not good at telling stories yet, keep them short. They can be just a couple of sentences as you improve. Aim for one minute stories. Just don't let them drag. Be concise. Keep them moving. That usually means practicing a few times so you can cut out anything that doesn't need to be there. Another question. I hear a lot is well, How do I tell a story? Well, first you want to get better by practicing. Naturally, that'll happen. So just start practicing and you'll improve. But to get you started, here are some basic talking points to follow. Story should have three parts a beginning, middle and end. The beginning can be as short as one sentence. That explains the people time and place involved in the middle. The characters in the story wants something. They have a goal, but they have to overcome obstacles to get there. The middle is usually the longest part because that's where all of the action takes place. A story also needs an end or resolution, which is usually brief. And this is where you explain how it all worked out in the end and really show the transformation or change. The characters went through to get there, and almost any experience can be turned into a story. If you follow this simple format, even a trip to the store to get milk can sound like a story. Another question is, when should I tell stories in my presentation? Other words. Where shall I put them? Well, there's no 100% right answer. There's an art to it, and you can certainly put them just about anywhere that helps. But the general principle is to spread them out throughout your presentation with a little bit of spacing, you don't want your whole presentation to be a long string of stories. You have to make sure you use other research and statistics and facts to back up your ideas in other ways. But the rule of thumb that I suggest is a starting place is to include one story in the introduction one story for each body point, and then I revisit my original story from the introduction, and then I finish it in the conclusion I bring it back around and explain how that first story worked out in the end. Now that's just a rule of thumb, I suggest, but it will be very effective in most cases if you use that approaching. As you practice and get better, you can get creative and try them in different places in your message. So here's your first step of action for this lesson. Number one. Jot down a list of as many potential stories is you can think of that would help you bring your message to life. They can be humorous, inspirational, entertaining. Whatever fits your message. Number two. Develop one story from that list. Use the talking points we covered in this lesson. The beginning should include that people time and place about one sentence. The middle shows that the characters want something and the obstacles that they overcome to get there and the end shows the growth and transformation that came out of that. You know, telling stories is a really art, but it's worth practicing because it's incredibly persuasive. Stories are the number one way by far to go right into the emotional part of listeners hearts and to sweep them up in the journey. 11. How to Use Creative Language to Add Impact: the next way to engage listeners. Emotions is through the creative use of language. There's a reason why song lyrics and great quotations are so emotionally powerful. These writers use creative language for maximum impact. You could say that language is the paintbrush that creates pictures and listeners minds. Here are six common language techniques professional level speakers use to engage listeners emotions. The 1st 3 stir up imagery to engage our imaginations, and the first is metaphor. As you may know, a metaphor is when we directly apply a word or phrase to something else. In fact, I just used a metaphor a couple of sentences ago, I said, Language is the paintbrush that creates pictures in listeners. Minds, language and paintbrushes air clearly two different things, but a metaphor makes them the same. So look for creative ways that you can include metaphors in your message to get practical. I think the easiest places to describe use a metaphor to describe the problem or difficulties in your persuasive message that you're trying to help listeners have a victory over. For example, you could describe financial debt as £100 weight pushing down on your chest so you can't breathe. Maybe you could describe loneliness as being trapped on a desert island prison of despair that's much more emotionally engaging than letting the word loneliness just speak for itself. Next, similes are the same as metaphors, except you'd include words like or as in there, so language is like a paintbrush. Some people say that adding liker as softens the imagery and makes it less powerful. But sometimes it sounds more natural this way, so it's up to you. Third personification is where we give personal or human characteristics to something that is not human, like an animal or a car or a bridge. And overused example I saw online was Theseus. Son was smiling down on us. Now it's overused, but it's still much more emotionally interesting than saying it was sunny and you could take just about any object and give it human characteristics. To make it practical, I suggest that you take any non human ingredient in a story you'd like to tell and use personification to bring it to life. Is there a mountain in your story? For example, describe it as if it's an old man. Is there a car in your story? make it sound like it's your loyal friend. Is there a sickness or disease in your story? Give it an evil personality. Stories air interesting on their own. But if you add personification, it enhances the story even more. These 1st 3 metaphor, simile and personification engage our emotions by creating interesting connections and new ideas in our minds that we can picture more clearly. The next three techniques take advantage of these sound of words. They don't so much create images in our heads. But the mere sound of the words in these three add emotional force to whatever statement you're making. I think song lyrics are the best example of these three. First illiterate A Shin is where you put a string of words together, where some of the words start with the same first letter. Lots of album titles and song lyrics do this like magical mystery tour. The sound of Silence Jumping Jack Flash, Beast of Burden, A liberation makes a statement pop and adds the sound of legitimacy to a message. Rhyming is another one. This is where some of the internal sounds of words are the same. The song Here Comes The Sun popped in my head when I was thinking about this. I'm not good at rhyming personally, but some people can pull this off. And if it fits your message your style and see how it sounds. But like alliteration, rhymes add impact. I once heard somebody say, If it rhymes, it must be true. A good rhyme can add power to what you are saying, so experiment with it and see if you can work it in naturally, in a key part of your message. Third, repetition is where you're a Peter, a word or a phrase, and it adds rhythm and impact to what you're saying. The song title by you, too. Sunday Bloody Sunday does this when they added that second Sunday, Just put it over the top. That's much more engaging than just calling the song Bloody Sunday. So good songwriters really get the absolute most out of every word. It's not a song, but another classic example of repetition is Martin Luther King Junior's. I Have a Dream speech, he said. That phrase I have a dream not once, not twice, but eight times in the span of about a minute. Repeating a key phrase gives your message mo mentum. Here's an example of how I would put some of these into practice. We'll take a normal bottom line statement I used in an earlier lesson, which was the most powerful way to become financially independent is to invest in your employer's 401 K program. So here's how it would sound when I add some a liberation rhyme and metaphor. I'm going to jam all three in there. Your 401 K is the best way to sail the seas of financial freedom that has a literary, a shin rhyme and metaphor. Now I went a little bit overboard to illustrate this and for my style. I don't know if I would put all three of those into one sentence, but it shows that this isn't that hard if you just start experimenting and playing with words. So let's get practical and keep it simple. Take your bottom line statement from your persuasive message. You should have one from an earlier lesson. When we talked about the difference between informative versus persuasive communication, you can start with that draft bottom line statement or you can make a new one. In either case, take your bottom line statement and add one or more of these language techniques to enhance it. Have some fun get created. This is just practice, as the examples in this lesson show, there are lots of ways to use language creatively, and there are literally dozens of other ways to do this. But I believe these top six have the most practical value to engage listeners on multiple emotional levels. 12. How to Use Your Emotions: Emotional Contagion: I want to talk about your passion. Your emotions are contagious. Psychologists and Lane Hatfield described this as emotional contagion. The term describes how we tend to take on the emotions and moods off the other people in the room. As a speaker, you have tremendous influence over your listeners and your audience because all eyes are on you. And if you show your passion for your message, listeners will catch that passion. Now. I think the word passion is a bit overused, but it's a great concept. When you boost your internal drive and enthusiasm and motivation for something good, it always leads to lots of great outcomes. So what is passion, look and sound like in the moment, passionate speakers use a confident volume. They add emphasis to their ideas. They pause after a key point to let it sink in. Now what do they look like? They show their emotions on their face. They gesture with their hands and shoulders. They move with a purpose, and the problem is many of us sound or look nervous or come across a stiff because we are a little bit nervous and we're in the mindset of really just trying to not look foolish. The problem is that that hesitant, uncommitted emotion will spread to your audience. Like the concept emotional contagion describes. If you don't communicate your passion for your message than your listeners will probably not care either. So let's get a little more concrete first. Most experts say the best way to get passionate and motivated is to get really clear on your why. So I suggest you do this by making a list of all of your wise all of the reasons you care about sharing your message in the first place list All the reasons that you care and personally believe in this message. Next list all of the ways your message benefits your listeners thes two lists will stir up your passion and then override that momentary anxiety. Ernie, doubt that you have in your mind. I also recommend firing yourself up before you speak. Maybe listening to great music or doing something like physical jumping up and down is your practice or before you stand up and speak. Take deep breaths before you go up there. Now you know yourself better than I do what gets you fired up. What loosens you up so you can express yourself freely. The most passionate speakers I know fire themselves up, and I do almost all of the things that I mentioned here. So here's your next action step. As mentioned, make a list of all the ways you can motivate yourself so your passion shows through Number one. List as many wise or reasons that you can think of that make you care about your message to list all of the differences your message can make for listeners. And three. How can you fire yourself up and loosen up before you speak if you want to be persuasive, If you want your listeners to catch your message, you have to communicate with passion. 13. Appealing to Listeners' Minds (Logos): we are on a journey to get the most out of Aristotle's modes of persuasion, ethos, pathos and logos. In this lesson, we're going to talk about having good logos in your message. Now I know this sounds and looks like the word logic, but that's a superficial way to see the idea. And you'd be selling yourself short if you stopped your understanding of it There. Originally this term mint proof provided by the words of the speech and Greek it could mean word, speech, reason or principle. To put that in more useful language, your message should have a sound argument, clear reasoning and strong evidence. If you want to be more persuasive, let's contrast this with an earlier lesson. We talked about how important it is to appeal to your listeners emotions through stories, creative language and showing your passion, and that will go a long way to persuade people. But I also mentioned a lot of people have said over the years that we are persuaded by your emotions, but we justify, and we rationalize those decisions so pathos speaks to our hearts. But logo speaks to our minds. You want to craft a message so it appeals. So you're listeners logical, rational side to really seal the deal to be fully persuasive. And in the next lesson, I'll show you specific concrete ways that you can do this in your message. 14. Practical Ways to Appeal to Listeners' Minds: Let's look at three specific ways you can appeal to listeners. Logical, rational side First. This starts with some groundwork we laid down earlier and that I want to recap. We talked about how a persuasive message has a bottom line statement with your point of view in it. We're going to talk more in depth about that, because that is our starting place to appeal to listeners. Logical, rational side. So let's add some more depth. Here's some good qualities that your bottom line should have. First, you're shooting for a concise sentence. One sentence, like if ah lawyer boiled down his whole case toe one clear statement. It might sound like this. My client is innocent and I'm going to show you why next, A good bottom line is also specific. So the lawyer statement is not about the law or justice. Generally, my bottom line statement is about my client, so you should tailor your message to what you want to say in the rest of the presentation. Also, your bottom lines should be focused mostly on the problem you are trying to show or the solution you want to convince listeners about. So if you're focused on the problem of air pollution, for example, then your main idea statement might sound like this. I'm going to tell you that the biggest threat to our environmental health is the poor quality of our air that focuses mostly on the problem. Dirty air. But you could focus more on the solution in this statement. It would sound something like this if you did that. I want to show you how planting more trees is the best way to clean our air. That's all about the solution trees and your position statement could include elements of both at 100% depends upon your message. Just take a clear focus. Next. It should also be something that is what we call arguable. It's a statement that people could disagree with. So you have to get really clear for yourself about what you want your listeners to think or do differently by the end of the message. Next, make this sentence stand out, so be clear that you are stating your bottom line. One way to do this is by using a lead in phrase to signal to listeners that this big statement is coming. This is the big idea you could start your bottom line by saying something like, I'm convinced that or I would like you to consider this point or if you're feeling really strong, the bottom line is find a leading phrase that works for your style and then fill in the rest of the bottom line statement or phrase. Now, a word of advice boiling down your message to one clear sentence can be very hard. I typically revised this one sentence more than any other because it drives the whole rationale for your entire message. The second way to appeal to listeners rational side is to develop your position through clear and orderly main points. So you just stated your bottom line position, and now you have to structure the rest of your message the rest of your presentation in a way that takes that message and expands it into sensible talking points. Ah, good friend of mine and communication professor Peter Marsten explained it to me like this . This is how I remember what he said. Picture that you are running very late for a presentation and you rush into the room and your time is almost up. The person running the event says. Well, we only have time for one sentence. Your bottom line statement or thesis would be that sentence. This statement takes your entire message and compresses it. The rest of the presentation breaks that main idea down into component parts and develops each part fully. So the question is, what are the natural, logical points you would use to develop and expand your message in an informative how to message, We often see main points in a chronological order like Step one measure the would step to cut the wood Step three. Nail the wood in place in a persuasive message. We don't normally see chronological order, but the main point should still demonstrate clear ideas. And the sensible development of your message if we return to my example about planting trees here again is my bottom line. Planting more trees is the best way to clean our air. I would take that message and break it down into three talking points to build and expand my case. Cost effectiveness and convenience. The three reasons it's the best. So cost trees are the least expensive option effectiveness. They clean the air better than any other technology and convenience. You can donate and Onley costs a dollar per tree. That example is one way to make logical main points out of my key idea. Third, you have to support your points with high quality evidence. So we talked previously about using stories to appeal to listeners. Emotions and, yes, stories are great. But if you Onley appeal to emotions, listeners will start to talk to themselves like this. They'll say. Okay, I see from your stories that you love trees and that you love clean air. But how big of a problem is this really So? To appeal to listeners. Logical, rational side. You dig into your research and include a variety of fax statistics, quotations from experts to support your points with hard evidence. And this is really persuasive because it verifies for listeners that your message is grounded. Practically speaking, for each main point, it's best to use a mixture of evidence like facts, statistics and quotes to back up what you're saying. And, of course, balance these with stories, an example with emotional appeal. So do both to support each point and a quick word of warning. Never misuse statistics in facts. Don't stretch the truth about the research you found. Make sure you have what I call a tight relationship between your point and the evidence. If you get called out for misrepresenting information, it will crush your credibility. So do a good, honest, hardworking job at collecting evidence and then representing it fairly. Let's put this into practice. We're going to revisit your bottom line statement that we talked about earlier in the course to make sure it's really clear by now. And it's possible you already have this statement perfectly down, and you've already used creative language, too. Make it more emotionally engaging. And if that's the case, then great. I still want to revisit this to make sure, because we're going to be moving into the lessons that pulled us all together to design your whole persuasive message. So let's double check this first. First, I recommend starting with a brief lead in phrase. Here are three suggestions that you can use. Pick one of these or come up with your room. I'm convinced that, or I would like you to consider this point, or the bottom line is use whatever phrase there that you prefer next, right out the rest of your bottom line, and let's also double check it to make sure it has the right qualities. Here are your checks. Is it one clear, concise sentence? Is it tailored specifically to the rest of your presentation? Does it take a clear position, your point of view that somebody could potentially disagree with? If you have done all of that, then you're ready to design the rest of your message for maximum persuasiveness and the next several lessons. 15. How to Design Your Overall Message for Maximum Persuasion: in this lesson, we'll look at what I consider to be the most powerful, persuasive message design there is. If you design your message around these talking points, you are guaranteed to be more persuasive because they are very psychologically and emotionally compelling and satisfying. You can use this design if your message is an actual stand up presentation, but this structure works just as well. If your message is a 32nd elevator pitch or a conversation, and if you download the template persuade like a pro or the pitch like a pro template, you can fill it in as you go, and that will make your life easier. So let's start with the basics. If you want your message to have maximum persuasiveness, design it around these five key talking points. One introduction. We call this your hook in a shorter presentation to the problem or need that you're explaining. Three. Your solution. You tell the listener how to fix the problem for the benefits of that solution and the problem solution. Benefits points form the body of your message, and five. Lastly, you conclude with a call to action, which we also call the ask. I will explain each part briefly here, and then they'll be one lesson on each of these that gives all of the details. So let's look at how this design works from a bird's eye view. To do this, I'm going to combine a few sources to show you what I mean. One sources Kurt Vonnegut's amazing YouTube video, the shapes of stories from the early two thousands. I also made a video on Monroe's motivated sequence in 2018 that explains some of the ideas in this video, and then acquaintance J. Baldwin published an excellent book chapter in 2019 on Monroe's motivated sequence that also takes this approach. The basic idea is that your entire persuasive message is designed like one connected story , so if it's done right, you're five. Talking points should have an emotional arc like a story or a movie to show you what I mean on the left axis we have at the top, feeling good and at the bottom, feeling bad and the time the beginning, middle and end in a persuasive message. Your introduction usually starts with some kind of hook or attention grabber to make sure your listeners interests are peaked, and at this point our listeners should be a bit excited or feeling a bit above average if we have done a good job drawing them in. Next we explained the problem. We explain the need that we see in the world or the need that they have in their lives, and this puts their emotions in a temporary hole. The idea is, if we want to ultimately motivate them to change their minds or the behaviors, we have to temporarily remind them that the problem Israel So on the scale, this makes him feel a bit badly. But we're not going to leave them there. The story is not over yet. As we say, we're just bringing them to the edge of it so they can see the problem for what it is next . We tell them what we believe. The solution is to this problem. We show them how they can get some satisfaction for their needs for what they care about. This brings them back up to feeling a little bit better because we have helped them see a potential way out of this problem. A way to get there needs satisfied. The next step is to show them all of the benefits that they will enjoy or that other people will receive if they adopt this solution. This gets them feeling even better on the scale because you helped them visualize a positive future, and they can now have hope. The last step is to invite them to take action. Some people refer to this as the call to action. Other people refer to it as the ask, but it's the same thing. This is where you state some small action a listener can take that moves them forward into the solution that you have already told them about I dealing. They should be feeling the best at this point because they're now empowered to get what they want for themselves or what they want for others. So the talking points flow together like a story. A typical story arc goes like this. Some character is doing OK and going about their life. Something bad happens and puts them in a bad spot and emotional pit. But then things start to get better and better, and by the end they live happily ever after. And if you structure your message this way than your listeners will be swept up in it emotionally the same way that were swept up in stories. And that's why I believe this is the very best persuasive message design I have ever seen. And I am willing to bet that if you've ever been really persuaded by a message, a commercial, a movie, a speaker, it is very likely that they followed the design that's just like this. Let's get even more actionable. I recommend that you download either the present like a pro speaking template and begin to fill it in. Or you can download the pitch like a pro template. If you're designing a shorter message, start by writing. Be five key sentences to put the basic information of your message into the framework sentence. One. Filling your bottom line Statement 23 and four right out a concise sentence for the problem , solution and benefit. Boil those three sentences down as much as possible to crystallize the heart of each point , like the headline of a news story last right out your ask in one sentence. What are you asking your listeners to do next? Just draft each of those five sentences, and in the next video we'll add detail and polished to each of those points 16. How to Hook Your Listeners: in this lesson will take several ideas we have talked about in previous lessons, and we will begin to plug them into a speaking template. Whether you're sharing a short, informal message or you're doing an entire presentation, you usually want to start with an introduction. And when we're talking about a persuasive message, we sometimes call this the hook, and I will show you the exact parts of your introduction that you should include. And I'll assume for the moment you're doing a full presentation. I encourage you to follow along and they persuade, like a pro template, and I'm going to show you all five parts of this introduction. But if you are doing a shorter message, then, of course, cut out anything that you don't need for that message. You can be the judge of that. Keep in mind, an introduction is usually not very long. In fact, each of these five elements could be a short as one sentence each. First, grab your audiences attention. This is often called your hook, and it's why some people call the whole introduction your hook because that's where this starts. But a great way to grab your listeners attention is by taking your best example your best story, statistic or quotation from your research and use it to open in a way that pulls people in now your hook, maybe a little longer than the other parts of the introduction. It could be several sentences if this were whole presentation, but still strive to keep it concise. Next, you forecast very briefly the relevance and benefits your message has for your listeners. You show them how your upcoming message matters to them personally. If you were speaking to a small group of entrepreneurs or business people, for example, this is where you might tell them that by the end of your message they will leave with concrete ways to build their business. You briefly let your listeners know that your message will make a difference in their lives . Third, you give your background. We talked about this a little earlier. Some of people call this your credibility statement, and it goes in the middle of your introduction. And here you'd say, in terms of my background or some lead in phrase like that. And then you'd explain your education, practical experience and your connection to the topic that shows you're worth listening to next, and this is the most important sentence. State your bottom line. Make sure it stands out. The last thing you do in your introduction is concisely preview your main points to come, but for a persuasive message. I think this is optional, based upon what I have seen from pro level speakers in a regular old informative message. Most speakers are really clear about their main points, that air coming like in a how to presentation. But in a persuasive message. I have seen a lot of speakers not do this type of preview, and one reason might be because it's unnecessary. The persuasive design will unfold like a story problem solution benefit, so it will become really clear as you go. Also previewing your main points all at once right here will sort of give your message away too much, perhaps. So I I say the preview is optional, but if you want to do a preview of your main points, keep it really brief. For example, if my presentation was about planting trees to fight air pollution, I might say it like this. We'll talk about the growing dangers of air pollution and I'll tell you what you can do about it personally. So here I'm giving a real general preview of the issues, but I'm not spelling it all out. Your action step is to fill in these five parts of your introduction. Shoot for one sentence for each part and don't get too picky at this point. This is still just a draft. If you get stuck on any of the parts, just move forward. You can always circle back and fill in the rest later. 17. How to Show Listeners the Real Problem that Needs to be Fixed: the way you explain the problem or need in a persuasive message is really the key. Listeners have to feel it. And if your listeners aren't convinced that the problem you're talking about Israel, they are not likely to take your solution. So here's how to make sure you're explaining the problem in a way that will really convince your listeners. You have to explain the issue, the need, the problem your listeners care about in 23 or four bullet points. That's all within the problem section of your message. You should not tell them. In contrast, the top 10 reasons to care long lists don't have much impact. Show them, say the top 23 or four reasons to care that's much more powerful. Here's an example. If my message was aimed at trying to get individuals to invest in a retirement plan, the three bullet points from my message section would be the lack of personal savings for most retired people, the in voluntary early retirement, many individuals experience, and three the unexpected financial costs we often face in our golden years. I didn't illustrate each of these with statistics and facts to appeal to their rational side, and I would certainly appeal to their emotional side by weaving in some short stories and examples about riel people who face these problems. The order of these bullet points is up to you. Even as I practice, I will sometimes adjust the order to see how these points flow most naturally from one to the next. Your goal for this whole problem section is to develop it so strongly it's almost like its own standalone message about the issue that you care about. A lot of people ask about how you figure out what these bullet points are for your problem section and these air different for every message. There's no way to know ahead of time, really. As you're learning and researching about your topic, you will start to see common problems as you're reading. You see themes emerging, the more you know about an issue. Like for my example about financial difficulties in retirement, those air riel concerns for people that come up in the research. So the best way to shape those bullet points is to learn about the specific issues that your listeners care about. I will give you another example of problem bullet points for a message to illustrate, Let's say this message was ultimately about trying to get people to join a health club. The points in your problem section might be about the lack of physical activity for most adults in the U. S. The physical health related difficulties due to in activity and how in activity makes us sad and even depressed. So your bullet points in your problem section all depend upon your topic. Your action step for this lesson is to come up with the top 23 or four bullet points for the problem section of your message. Maybe you already know those because you're really familiar with your topic. And if that's you, then under each of those bullet points, shot down some specific statistics. Fax to appeal to listeners rational side and jot down some specific personal stories and examples to appeal to their emotional side. And make sure it's a good mixture of both. In the next lesson will look at how to explain your solution to this problem 18. How to Explain Your Solution Clearly: Now we get to your solution. This is probably the real goal of your message. When we speak, we want to have an impact and help people. Your solution is the help you would like to offer them. If this were Ah, Home makeover show, the before picture is the problem, and the after photograph is the solution. That's why those shows air so compelling. We love good solutions. We love answers. And that's why this part of the message begins to make listeners feel better. It gives them a solution, and that's empowering and shows them that they can do something. Good. Solution should have two qualities. The first quality is to keep it simple. The solution step is usually much shorter than the problem section. The best case scenario is to tell them about your one recommended solution. So let's say you're raising money to sponsor impoverished Children's education. Don't also recommend that listeners could volunteer. Or don't ask them to hand out more flyers for you. Don't also ask them to visit the organization's website. Give them one solution. Quote. The best way you can help is to sponsor a child for $38 per month keep it simple. Let's say you're asking your boss to support our proposal you're making. Don't also ask him or her to talk to other managers or other stakeholders to get their support to just say that you would like your bosses support and approval to move forward. If you're trying to convince a business person to join a community group that you're organizing, say it's something like this, I'm going to put together a group of community leaders so we can meet and get on the same page about this issue. One reason to keep it simple is that the solution step of a persuasive messages on Lee, where you first explain your solution. We don't actually ask them to take action yet that comes later at the end, when we make our ask, as we call it, our call to action. Another reason to keep it simple is because it will make it easier for them to say yes, I'm a supervisor in real life, and people come to me all the time for help. So when they come in with a package solution for me, it's easy for me to say yes if they come in with a blurry message, and they haven't worked it all out yet. It's harder for me to say yes, So a simple, focused solution makes it much easier for listeners to get on board. The second quality of a good solution is that you're clear about exactly what your solution involves. Let your listeners know honestly about any time, effort, money or steps that are involved. They have to know what they're committing. Teoh. If I want my listeners to sponsor a child, I would explain to them that I will have packets with specific Children's information at the end of the presentation at the back table, and they can sign up to sponsor a child using their credit card. If I'm, let's say, asking my boss for his approval, I should explain with some detail what that looks like, that I will need a letter of support that I can include in my file with the rest of my proposal. In other words, you don't want to hold important information back about what you're going to ask them for at the end. Think about it this way. If your friend was asking you for help moving into his new apartment, and he knew that this is going to be a 12 hour commitment. I'm guessing that you would want to know before you said yes that it was a 12 hour commitment that might have changed your answer. We don't want to trick people or pressure people into saying yes, and then later reveal what's actually involved, like some high pressure sales person that's going to hurt your credibility. So explain your solution. So it's focused, simple, and do it in a clear way. So your listeners know exactly what they are committing to ahead of time. And what I love about this is that by the time you make your ask your call to action at the end, you have already done all the heavy lifting in this solution step. It makes the ask so easy because you already explained exactly what the solution looks like . But they were able to listen to it objectively without any pressure of being asked to do it . Yet that's the secret to the solution step. So your action step is to fill out your solution. Point on your template, make sure you have your solution explained as clearly, and as simply as possible in our next lesson, we will illustrate all of the benefits your solution can create for your listeners. 19. How to Help Listeners Visualize the Benefits of Your Solution: after you explain the problem and solution, you want to help listeners visualize the benefits. This part of your message will be longer than your solution, because it will take some time to illustrate the benefits. Powerfully. This is where you show you listeners all of the positive outcomes they will experience or that they will create for other people by going along with your solution. To me, this is the most enjoyable part of a persuasive message for a speaker because you're helping your listeners look into the future and imagine what's possible on home makeover shows. You'll notice that they don't just show you the before and after photos. That's the problem and the solution, but they don't stop there. The host of the show also let the owners dream a little bit about about how their lives will change. They walk through the house and talk about how the bigger windows will let in more daylight to brighten the mood. The larger living room will give the family a place to gather together and spend time together. The new playroom will keep the kids toys out of the kitchen so Mom won't trip over them. Those home makeover shows really know what they're doing. They emphasize all of the benefits the home makeover created for the owners. And that's the part that really motivates viewers to want to redesign their own homes. Viewers can start to visualize those benefits for themselves, and you want to do that for your listeners. Here are two practical ways to get the most out of your benefits point first, use lots of examples and stories to appeal to listeners. Emotions. You could call these success stories if your solution is to sponsor a child, tell them about how a specific child's life was changed through sponsorship. Show a picture of the child's smiling and playing with her friends. If your solution is for employees to maximize their contributions to their companies for a one K program share success stories of riel retired people who started saving early and the difference it made for them, like spending time with their grandchildren or traveling. If your solution is for your boss to approve your project, show the boss the benefits the project will have for the overall business. You might use what you know about similar projects as a success story. Examples and stories like these inspire listeners and transport us into a world where we can make a difference. Now it's important not to exaggerate the benefits. Use riel information. Don't say it like in that movie. Napoleon Dynamite. Vote for me and all your dreams will come true that will hurt your credibility in the long run. Keep the benefits grounded in reality and don't over promise. Second, make sure your benefits cancel out most or all of the problems you talked about earlier. If you're trying to get people to join a gym and you talked about the key problems connected to in activity than your benefits point should show how your solution cancels those out. So joining the gym will boast listeners physical and emotional health. In other words, you have to appeal to listeners. Logical, rational side, too. If the benefits don't take a clear step toward cancelling out the problems you talked about , then you need to make some adjustments in your message to make sure it has sound reasoning . Otherwise, listeners will see through that and will hurt your credibility. The good news is, if your benefits point really does show that you solution works, you know you have a strong message. Let's make this actionable step One is to make a list of the top several benefits of your solution. These could be benefits directly for your listeners or the benefits your listeners will create for others if they follow your solution. Next, jot down any examples and success stories that you can think of that will bring those benefits toe life. Make them as vivid and as specific as possible so your listeners can picture it in their heads. Last double. Check to make sure your benefits effectively cancel out any problems you introduced earlier in your message, and the next lesson will look at the last step, making your ask or your call to action. 20. How to Explain the Potential Downside to Stay Ethical & Maintain Credibility: We're going to take a brief detour and talk about the issues of costs in your message, and then we'll get to your ask. So there's no perfect and totally free solutions in life. There's usually a downside, even if it's really small. So when we share all of the benefits listeners will get, it raises a really important question. Should be. Also explain the potential costs or downsides our listeners will experience for our recommended solution. The answer is it depends explaining. The cost is optional, but there are riel ethical and practical considerations. When you are making this decision from an ethical standpoint, my rule of thumb is this. We want to give listeners all of the information they need to know to make informed choices as communicators. I believe we're obligated to support people's rational decision making capabilities. Tom Nielsen, a communication writer, called this significant choice. He said, We should never give a listener the impression that we're giving them a more complete picture off the situation than we are. That means we should never conceal or brush over important information just because it would hurt our chances of persuading them. If there's a potential issue or cost with our recommended solution, we should communicate that to listeners. For example, many multi level marketing companies on Lee talk about success stories, and that's really sketchy to me. I read recently online that 99% of multi level marketing investors lose their money. So let's use the golden rule to see if we should share this information. If you personally had a 99% chance of losing your money, would you want the person trying to persuade you to invest to tell you that the answer is yes, of course you would. So in turn, we should be honest with listeners about potential risks or downsize. Now, having said that, in most cases I have found that the cost or potential downsides aren't that serious, and we can communicate this when we are explaining our solution. If we're inviting people to join our health club and the cost is $60 per month than the cost of, our solution is obvious in our explanation. The downside er costs is $60 a month, and whatever time it takes to work out, most people will get that. But if we're talking to them about the kind of really issue that can shape their lives in significant ways, like the potential loss of real money and potential loss of health or safety. Then we should be extra clear about this, so there's no way they can miss it. That's the ethical side. From a practical standpoint, it can actually build our credibility to talk about the potential downside of a solution. So let's say you just explained to your boss a specific solution for a project that you want his or her approval for. We explain the costs or potential downsides right after our solution. So we put a talking point in for cost before we talked about the benefits we might lead into the costs like this. It's true that this project is not the least expensive option, and it will also take six months longer than the other options. So we've just given the downside, and then we would explain the benefits we'd say. But on balance there are lots of advantages to this plan, and then you explain the benefits that, like with the way we discussed in the last lesson Ah, lot of people think that when we add this type of downside upside approach to our message. It can actually add that extra analytical kick to our message and demonstrate our competence even further to make this actionable. If there are minor costs and potential downsides, explain that as you were explaining your solution. But if there are really substantial potential downsides or risks to your solution, I recommend including a stand alone point about the potential costs in your message. If you believe that, your listeners would benefit from hearing about it. So put yourself in their shoes and decide if this is the kind of information you'd want to know. Then you should tell your listeners. 21. How to Make Your "Ask" the Easy Way: Let's say you have already explained the problem Solution and benefits points in your message. The last step is making your ask your call to action. If you have designed the rest of your message right, this should be easy and should help your listeners feel empowered and ready to take the next step. Let's start by talking about the emotional tone of your ask. I want to be really clear. This is not the same is what some people call closing a deal in the world of sales are hard selling. I don't teach any closing techniques that put the other person in an artificially pressured or awkward situation. Instead, I like to approach the ask as an invitation to take one step the next logical step after hearing your message. So in terms of tone, I recommend doing this in a matter of fact way. I just ask them as normally as I can. We're just inviting them in the truest sense of the word. In fact, the moment where you make your actual ask is not really a huge moment of persuasive activity. If you've done a good job in the rest of your message by the end, some people will already be persuaded, and some people want the people who are on board with You just need to know what the first step is. So you're ask is just letting them know what the next concrete step is that they can take? Let's look at some examples. Remember, in an earlier lesson, we talked about how you want to explain your recommended solution simply and clearly, and let listers know about any steps that are involved. Now, you have already laid the groundwork to make your ask sound natural. Now you're just inviting them to start that solution that you've already explained. The wording is just a simple transition from your benefits point right into a plain old invitation. So if I'm trying to persuade people to contribute to their employers 401 K program at work , and I already told them about all the benefits, my ask would sound something like this. I hope you can see what a difference a good retirement plan can make for you. If you are ready to do this, your first step is to contact somebody from your human resource is department and tell them that you would like to start making contributions to your 401 k They will know what that means and have a simple form that you can fill out to get started. If I wanted my boss's approval for a project, I might say something like this. I believe this project will make a really impact, and I am hoping that you would support it. And if this were my actual boss, I would give him or her a respectful amount of time and space to consider my request. Again. I wouldn't. I personally use a sales closing technique, toe pressure him for a yes or a no on the spot. If I were trying to persuade people to sign up for my gym, I transitioned out of the benefits point and invite them to come down. There are lots of reasons to get back into the gym. Before I go, I'd like to pass out these discount cards, the address and hours air on the card, and I would like to invite you to come down and get a personalized tour of the place. One more example. If I'm trying to get listeners to sponsor a Compassion International child for $38 a month . I would transition out of my benefits point and say this. I'm convinced that Compassion International is making a huge impact for Children in poverty . As I mentioned, if you would like to sponsor a child, we have packets for you that you can leave with today of an actual child waiting for a sponsor like you. The packet has their picture name and other information in it. I invite you to come back and look at the Children's profiles, and I'll be back there to answer any of your questions. Now you're asked, might have another sentence or two of detail either way, but I encourage you to keep it brief. You've either persuaded them by the time you reach your call to action or you haven't. So there's ask is where you bring it to a close and see how it went as my example Show your ass can be really simple. If it's an easy no pressure invitation, they're just taking the next logical step. I'd like to add this clarification about the structure or design of this in a shorter message. My ask would be the last thing I dio. However, if I were doing an actual presentation to a larger group, I would add one final touch, and I would fit in the call to action as my second to last thing I did. In my conclusion, you can use the present like a pro template to follow along. A conclusion starts when you signal the end that you're wrapping up, you might say in closing or whatever phrase you like. You then revisit your bottom line one last time, and the second to last thing is the ask, and then I finish with what we call a clincher. The clincher is where you share one last brief story or example or quotation that ends your message on an emotional high note and the emotional arc of your overall message. This is your last chance to appeal to listeners emotions and inspire them. But if it's not a presentation, if it's a conversation or some kind of smaller meeting, you don't need a clincher. A big emotional high point in a shorter message. I just finished with my call to action. Let's make this practical. I have to action steps for this lesson first, right out your ask. I don't usually suggest writing out parts of presentations, word for word. But as a first draft, I do recommend scripting out your call to action so you can practice it at most. You want this to be just a few sentences and practice it out loud so it sounds natural and conversational. Make sure it sounds like you, in other words, practice it enough. So you have internalized it and don't need to look at your notes anymore. For this part, the second action step is to fill out the rest of the conclusion in the persuade, like a pro template, so you can see where you're asked fits in the right place in your conclusion. 22. Putting it All Into Practice (Application, Review, and Template Walk-Through): Here's where we put everything we've talked about into practice. This whole lesson is one big review and action step. If your messages of presentation I encourage you to have the persuade like a pro template handy while we do this, or if you're doing a shorter message, the pitch, like a pro template, will work. But I'll assume that you're looking at a full presentation template, and then you can cut out or customize this any way you want to fit your message to fit your situation. We already covered each part of this separately. But now, as we walk through this, I would like you to visualize how your message would flow, like one connected story from the introduction all the way to the conclusion and before we jump in. That's what the point of this template is. It makes it super easy to create your message because you instantly put everything in the right spot for maximum persuasive flow, and you can use this template to prepare your message beforehand, and you can also use it as the basis for you actual speaking notes. In the moment, your goal should be to put no more than one sentence or even a short phrase in each small box and next to each bullet. And that way, when you practice you just use your speaking notes as a reminder of what you were going to say, and you're not stuck reading your notes word for word, which can sound really robotic and not persuasive. Now that's visualize your message in this template. In your introduction, you start with a hook or attention grabber. This only takes a few sentences or so, and this should be one of your best quotations. Best examples. Best stories to draw people in. Then just pause for a second and give a bullet point or two. That shows how this message speaks to your listeners. Personally, we call this the audience relevant statement paused for another second and give your credibility statement as a reminder. If somebody is introducing you, you put this information on a card and they'd use it to give you a 22nd introduction. But if nobody is introducing you, then this is where it goes. You give people some highlights about your background, and that shows that you're worth listening to. I usually start with that lead in phrase in terms of my background, you can borrow that phrase from me or come up with your own lead and phrase, and then you give your bottom line statement. Make sure it stands out. Use those creative language strategies we talked about to give it some pop and make it memorable. Pause for a second and then give the roadmap or preview of the main body points. This is optional. If it makes sense for you and your message, give a super concise forecast of your main points in a 10 minute message. By the way, your introduction is Onley gonna take about a minute. Then you head into the body of the message where the problem or need point is usually the longest point in the body, and you have to fill this in with the top reasons. The problem is serious and explain why your listeners should care. Fill this point in with a mixture of stories and examples to appeal to their emotions, their hearts and also good does of hard evidence like statistics and fax. It quotes from X for experts to appeal to their minds. They're rational side once you have thoroughly shown what the problem is, tell them what they can do about it. In other words, explain your solution. So how they can get some satisfaction from this problem, tell them exactly what the solution is and how they can get involved. Be sure to illustrate, then next, all of the benefits they will create for others or experience for themselves. By following this solution. Help them visualize this with success stories, examples even before and after images. If you have them, this points usually a little longer than your solution, because you really want to transport them and bring the benefits toe life by appealing to the emotional side. By the time you finish your benefits point, most of the persuasion is done. They are either with you or not. Then I move to my conclusion, which includes my ask, and I do a conclusion in a presentation. It's pretty brief in a 10 minute presentation. It's about a minute, and I just say in closing, and then I revisit my bottom line statement. Then I make my ask. It's just an easy invitation to take the next step. No pressure needed. Just say something along the lines of if you would like to do this than here is the first step you can take. And then maybe part of your ask is handing something out like a sign up sheet or passing something out that they can take with them. And while they're doing that, I always finish with a clincher. If I'm doing on actual stand up presentation, I finish with one last example super short story quotation to appeal to their emotions one last time. I find that in a presentation, finishing with the Klinger has a much more persuasive impact than finishing just with your ask and then sort of waiting around to see what they decide. So make your ask and then finish with your best stuff. Really finish on a high? No. Then briefly thank your listeners and tell them that you'll be available to talk afterwards . Or, of course, you can take questions. At this point, I hope this walk through helped you visualize how your message would come together in this template. I also want to remind you to use those three identification strategies to get your listeners to see that you are just like them. We talked about using the common ground strategy common enemy strategy and the assumed we look for natural places in your message to show your listeners that you are both on the same team before I wrap up this lesson. If you're doing a shorter presentation, then you can use the pitch like a pro template. If you're doing a longer presentation longer than 10 minutes, then expand the body points of this message. The problem solution benefit really strive to keep your intro and conclusion nice and tight . So your homework is to put your message in writing by filling out a speaking template. So go ahead and do that, and I will see you for our final goodbye. 23. Wrap Up & Next Steps: Hey, you made it. Congratulations on finishing the course. Your next step, of course, is to put it into practice. I recommend picking some riel upcoming communication situation and then design a specific, persuasive message for that audience. It could be a one on one conversation. Could be a small group meeting. Could be an actual stand up presentation. But put it on your calendar, commit and then get to work on your message. Of course, Feel free to circle back to key lessons to fine tune Your message. Used the downloadable templates and other materials to zero right in on what you'd like to say. It has been my pleasure teaching you if you've benefited from the course and please take the time and post a review and feel free to take a look at my other courses as well. God bless, and I hope to see you soon