Terry Pearce, author of Leading Out Loud, one of my favorite books on leadership and presentation skills, defines leadership as “seeing what is needed (vision) and inspiring others to take action to effect change”.
In order to convince others to change, leaders need to appeal to people’s heads and their hearts. You can’t just give them data, facts, logic, and return on investment. The most logical argument won’t persuade people unless you’ve also connected with them on an emotional level.
2. Emotion tends to prompt behavioral changes more quickly than logical appeals do.
3. Responding emotionally requires less effort than logically weighing the pros and cons of a presentation.
4. Emotion-arousing arguments distract people from noticing the speaker’s intention to persuade.
The language you choose and the way you compose your argument exert a major impact on listeners’ emotions. The following language tools will help to reach people on an emotional level:
A metaphor is an imaginative way of describing something as something else, for example, “Time is money.” Organizing metaphors are overarching worldviews that shape a person’s everyday actions; for instance, “Business is war.”
2. Highlight the weaknesses of your audience’s worldview using their metaphor. For example, “By focusing on the our competitors instead of customer support, we’ve allowed our customer-satisfaction levels to fall.”
3. Provide examples of other companies that have achieved success using your replacement metaphor, as in “Our competitor’s sales have increased 18% since they appointed account managers to collaborate with the sales team.”
– Grab listeners’ attention with riveting plots and characters audiences can relate to
– Simplify complex ideas and make them concrete
– Evoke powerful emotions among listeners
– Stay in your audience’s mind long after the facts have been forgotten
(Adapted from Harvard ManageMentor’s , a great online learning resource for managers)