Tips from Terry O’Reilly on persuading people

YesYou may know that my absolute favorite podcast is Under the Influence, a Canadian show on the world of marketing. The host, Terry O’Reilly is an astute observer of human nature, and I’ll often find that I can glean great tips from the marketing world that apply to ministry.

In a recent episode, O’Reilly shared 6 tips on persuading an audience. I thought they were each insightful, and even though he’s referring to a boardroom, those of us in ministry are often asked to persuade and defend our decisions. Here are his 6 tips:

  1. From the moment you enter the room, begin creating an atmosphere of approval. Don’t use jargon, don’t tense up, and ease into your presentation. Make sure your entire presence communicates excitement and opportunity.
  2. Presentations need structure. Make sure your pitch has a structure. You can kill enthusiasm by giving a shoddy presentation. Conversely, you can build enthusiasm with a presentation that communicates that you are prepared to lead your idea.
  3. Prepare the end of the presentation. After you share your idea, people’s minds are racing. Make sure you’re ready to answer questions, and point the way forward. Don’t end with silence or with a whimper. End your pitch with something that will echo in your audience’s ears.
  4. Never allow silence. Silence communicates fear, nerves or uncertainty. You need to persuade, so plan out your presentation and speak until it’s completed or until there are questions.
  5. Never tell people how to think. If you say “You’re gonna love this”. the mental response will be “No I won’t”. Let other people make up their own minds to agree.
  6. Once you get an approval, it’s lunch. When people are convinced, move on. If you keep on selling your idea after others have bought in, you’ll only make them second-guess their initial excitement.

What about you? What tips do you have for persuading others?

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