Being persuasive is governed by six principles and in the earlier posts in this series we’ve talked about
Principle 1: Reciprocity
Principle 2 : Scarcity
Principle 3 : Authority
and how you can apply them in your presentations to be more persuasive.
Principle No. 4 – Consistency and Commitment
” It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end” Leonardo da Vinci
We like to be consistent with the things we have already said and done.
By the way this principle refers to audience behaviour ( not presenter behaviour) – although if you want your presentations to be successful then you do have to be consistent and committed as a speaker!
This refers to how your audience responds.
We generally prefer our behaviours to be consistent with our pre-existing attitudes, statements, values and actions.
Inconsistency is commonly thought to be an undesirable personality trait and good personal consistency is highly valued.
The commitment comes about as we want to be consistent with what we’ve done earlier.
So how can you use this is your presentation?
1. Find out about your audience in advance
When you do some research about what’s important to your audience in relation to your presentation topic (i.e. their values) then you can make sure that your message is consistent with these values.
Demonstrate from the outset how your presentation reflects these values using exactly the words they would use.
e.g. if one of their values is honesty then state explicitly how you will be honest with them. Don’t use the words ” tell the truth” instead as this won’t resonate with them in the same way.
This is good way to overcome audience resistance at the start because they will feel that you genuinely understand them.
2. Ask for small initial commitments
Get the audience to commit to something early on.
This could be simply to write down a question they want answering, or to be willing to interact, or to enjoy the presentation!
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is easy for them to do.
When they make a commitment early on then in order to be consistent they will be much more likely to make a commitment later
e.g. when you ask them to respond to your call to action (as long as it it fits with their values).
3. Get audience agreement early on.
In the post The Power of 3 I outlined how you can use this very powerful technique to make your presentation more memorable.
You can also use it to gain consistency and commitment.
If you use three statements linked to your presentation that your audience can agree with unequivocally then when you make a fourth statement they will agree with it in order to be consistent.
To show you what I mean here is an example you could use if you are giving a presentation about how to increase sales….
1. are you fed up chasing clients? ( answer: yes)
2. have you ever spent time in several meetings with a potential client only to find that when it comes to the crunch they don’t want what you have to offer? (answer : yes)
3. have you ever struggled to close a sale? ( answer : yes)
so would you like to learn the 7 questions to ask that will ensure you close the sale every single time? — Yes!
This also serves to engage the audience’s curiosity and you have got their commitment to listen.
And as a result you are instantly more persuasive!
In the next post we’ll focus on Principle No. 5.
Until next time,
With best wishes for your success,
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Cath Daley Ltd.