The Foundations of Influence & Persuasion
Every human interaction is an attempt at influence! We are always trying to influence people when we speak to them, either in subtle ways or sometimes in very overt ways. In every interaction we are trying to achieve something. It doesn't matter if we are speaking to our spouse, children, employees, bosses, friends, parents, neighbors .. or anyone else - Every interaction is an attempt to convince, persuade, influence, order, schmooze or even inveigle other people to think, feel, believe or do what we want. Sounds pretty sinister when you think of it like that, doesn't it?!
Skills of influence can be taught and developed and once acquired, they can be used for good or for ill. We hope you will use them for the greater good!
Whether you want to influence one or many people, the process is the same. And great news - it's a simple process! There are just 3 essential components:
There needs to be a connection between you and the person or people that you are attempting to influence. They need to feel like they know you and you know them; they like you and you like them; and there is a certain amount of trust between you.
They need to see you as credible in the area of influence. They need to see you as an authority or an expert and someone with credibility. If you are selling a product then the product also may need credibility in their minds.
The attempt at influence needs to be relevant to them and the timing needs to be right.
If you can tick all three boxes and your attempt at influence is ethical and not manipulative, then you have a very good chance at successful influence.
From a speaking perspective, let's first take a look at no. 1, the importance of being likeable to your audience. Les Brown is one of the very best speakers in the world. In this clip from JMT Speaker Training February 2015, watch how Les uses humour to connect with his audience.
"Humour disengages the ego!" - Les Brown
Connecting with the audience is critical, but connecting is not the same as trying to impress the audience! It is not enough for the audience to like you, they must see you as credible too. Credibility is essential and can very effectively be given from one person to another. This is important to remember when being introduced by someone who has credibility with the audience already.
"Leadership is Influence!" - John Maxwell
This clip is from JMT Speaker Training in August 2015. Watch how John intentionally passes influence to Roddy at the start of their Q&A session.
There are many factors influencing how credible we appear to those we interact with. In this extract from Roddy and Paul's half day teleseminar 'Ethical Influence & The Power Of Suggestion', listen in as they discuss the importance of authority with regard to influence.
"The number one criteria for the person establishing your expertise is that it's not you!" - Paul Martinelli
The person introducing you is a great person to establish your credibility, especially if they already have influence with the audience. And the person being introduced can easily establish credibility for others, again, especially if they already have influence with the audience.
So if you want to increase your influence with people you interact with, think of presenting yourself as a confident, likeable expert! Don't forget to be nice, try to ensure they understand your area of expertise, ideally have someone else tell them how great you are .. and make sure that the area that you are trying to be persuasive in is relevant to them!
A special note from Paul Martinelli and Roddy Galbraith:
We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this small welcome gift from us. We cannot wait to connect with you at the next JMT live event, and get to know you a little better. Hold Your Image!!