The 3 “Ps” Of How To Persuade Your Next Audience

If you want to persuade your audience, then you need to promise a payoff
If you want to persuade your audience, then you need to promise a payoff
Image Credit: Riccardo Bandiera

As a speaker you have ideas that you want to share with your next audience – this is what the importance of public speaking is all about. Your reason for wanting to do this is because you want to influence them. You want to plant new ideas in their heads, change the way that they think, or even get them to get up and go out and take action. In order to make this happen you are going to have to be able to do three things: make promises, create a premise, and use points.

Creating Promises

If you are going to want to have any hope of persuading your audience, then you are first going to have to find a way to get them to listen to what you have to say. A great way of going about doing this is to promise your audience a payoff for listening to you. By doing this you give them an incentive to pay attention to what you are saying.

You can do this by adding a statement to the start of your speech. This statement should clearly state what your audience can expect to get out of your speech. A phrase like “I’ll be sharing 3 ways to make more money” will do the trick.

You are going to have to be careful to make sure that your promise is something that your audience can believe in. First, they need to believe that what you are promising them can actually be delivered in a speech (“I’ll show you how to cure all types of cancer” is not believable). Next, you yourself have to be seen by your audience as being someone who might actually have the information that you are promising them.

Building A Premise

So just exactly what is a premise? A premise is an assumption that something is true. What this means for you as a speaker is that in your next speech, if you want to persuade your audience, you are going to want to add some validity to your promise by using a premise.

One of the best ways to go about doing this is to state a premise that provides your audience with a hint at just exactly how the promise can be achieved. Note that you don’t want to give too much away, just enough to hook their attention.

One way to think about a premise is that it provides your audience with a map as to how you are going to be able to achieve your promise. You can use your premise to ground your promise and make it appear to be more believable.

Using Points

So you’ve provided your audience with a big promise. You’ve set the stage as to how you are going to deliver on the promise by providing them with a good premise. Now you have to deliver on what your audience expects from you. This is the heart of persuading an audience.

You need to consider the key points that you choose to include in your speech as being the heart of your speech. View your key points as being the way that you can fulfill your promise and prove your premise.

You are going to want to look for ways to make sure that your audience will be able to remember each of the points that you make. One way to make this happen is to work humor into your speech. You’ll want to make sure that you have the time to pause and make your audience laugh as you present each key point before you move on.

What All Of This Means For You

Motivating an audience is not an easy thing to do. They may be happy with the way that things are today and what you are going to be suggesting involves change – something that most of us do not like. However, if done correctly, a speaker can use the benefits of public speaking to successfully motivate an audience if you do the right things.

The first thing that you’ll want to do is to promise your audience a payoff for listening to you. Next, you’ll provide your audience with a premise that will show them how they are going to be able to achieve the payoff that you have promised to them. Finally, you’ll need to include key points in your speech that back up the core of your message.

You can motivate your next audience. In order to make this happen you are going to have to provide them with what they are looking for. This includes a promise, a premise, and points to back them up. Take the time to incorporate these into your next speech and be amazed at your ability to persuade your audience.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How many points do you think that it will take to persuade an audience?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I must confess: I do enjoy hearing myself speak. However, when I give a speech in addition to listening to myself talk, I want to convince my audience to actually do something based on the information that I have shared with them. It’s relatively easy to give a speech; despite the importance of public speaking it can be much harder to cause people to take action based on your words. I do have a couple of secrets that I use to make things happen when I talk.

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