If you had to choose between having a great idea or being able to inspire that idea in others, which would you choose? 

While I can’t speak for anyone else, I would immediately choose the ability to persuade others — in a “belief” kind of way.  I’m sure that anyone who chose the contending option might be wondering why in the world I would opt for persuasion over a strike of genius, but bear with me. After reading this article, you might, too.

In business, being persuasive is the key to everything. Data is important, creativity is out there, and anyone can have an award-winning idea – but the real ability to convert your idea into action is persuasion — and that starts with your total belief in what you’re doing. 

The ability to communicate your plans, ideas, and course of action all depends on leadership, inspiration, belief, and persuasion. What good is a great idea if no one else will listen? Sure, you can have a ‘eureka!’ moment, but if you’re unable to get people behind you, it’s all useless.

Persuasion vs. Genius

I recently read a quote by persuasion-guru Tyler Odean back from 2018, and it said:

“The reality is that visionaries like Steve Jobs haven’t been successful because they thought of something amazing and original out of thin air. Rather, they were gifted at constantly persuading many people to follow them on their journey to something amazing and original.” That’s exactly it. Boom! 

In a recent interview, Odean said another quote that inspired my understanding about persuasion, saying:

“We trust them not because their vision is perfect, but because they have it under control. They communicate clearly without giving us all the answers. What most people think of as vision is actually persuasion.”

The power of persuasion lies in resonance, and it all has to do with working with the mind. It’s not the idea that really matters, it’s the courage and belief behind it. People with great public speaking skills know it’s a game of strategy. 

Nothing gets done alone, so persuasion is the first step towards achieving your goals. Here are some rapid-fire ideas on how to enhance your professional persuasion tactics:

Know Your Audience

Understanding who you’re speaking to is the first step to any successful pitch. The experts always say that speaking to your audience’s values is the key to a successful presentation. Focus on their key motivators, being their goals, values, wants, and needs.

Statistics Strengthen the Argument

We live in the age of ‘google it’, so when making any claim, you should be prepared to face some degree of scrutiny. Put your audience at rest before they tune out and hit the search engine by providing them with fact-based statistics to back up your statements. 

Use Emotions as a Secret Weapon

Emotions are locked to empathy, which can be a key for strong persuasion – but don’t overuse it. Emotional language should be used eloquently in high-impact areas. Think of it as a secret weapon that takes your ideas to an entirely new level.

And, if all else fails, frame your content around the classic storytelling model. That always works. People love movies, people love stories — it makes it more personal. 

What skills do you use to enhance your persuasive abilities? Share those along with any public speaking hacks in the comments – let’s talk about it.