Killing Time Until YOU Run The World — How To Use Quotes In Your Next Speech

Persuasion can be accomplished by using quotes and pacing/leading.
Persuasion can be accomplished by using quotes and pacing/leading.

Man, once you are in charge, things are going to be different around here! Specifically, you won’t have to work so hard to convince your audience that they should see things your way. However, until that day arrives, perhaps it would be worth our time to take a look at a few ways to persuade your audience to come over to your way of thinking. We’ve already discussed the power of keeping your focus tightly centered on a few key issues that matter to your audience and then drawing them in using stories. That’s a good way to start, but there is much more that you can do…

Although you may be a well-respected person to your audience and you might even be the world’s leading expert on whatever topic you are talking about, unfortunately that might not be enough. For whatever reason, a portion of your audience has probably already made up their mind to not agree with you. Your biggest challenge is going to be to win them over to your side. One powerful tool that you have available to you is the quote. It took me a long time to understand why presenters used quotes – to me they just seemed like so much fancy window dressing. It turns out that I was wrong. A quote is a very powerful tool. What happens when a presenter uses a quote is that they are almost magically summoning the person who originally spoke those words to stand beside the speaker and say the words once again. By referencing someone else’s words, it will leave the impression with your audience that if that person were present in the room with you, they would approve of what you are currently saying. If you are talking about raising taxes and you use a quote from Ronald Regean to support your case, then that would probably be too much of a stretch for most people to make. However, if you were talking about helping clashing groups to find common ground and you used a quote from Nelson Mandela then it would be a powerful way to reinforce your position.

A fantastic fact about our human brains that sales people have known for a long time is that if our brain can verify that two things are true, then it will accept a third thing as being true also. The formal name for this technique is called “Pacing and Leading”. What this means for you as a presenter is that with a little careful preparation, you can design your presentation to help you persuade your audience that you are correct. As an example, if you start out your presentation by saying “Hello, I am John Smith and I work in the IT department.” and then follow this up with “I’m going to explain to you why an Oracle database is the correct product to use on our next project.” Keep in mind that you cannot use this technique to say something that is clearly untrue. Your third point must be a reasonable conclusion.

There you have it – two more powerful techniques to leave your audience cheering for your way of looking at the world. Used correctly, you can use your words to do your work for you – and isn’t that what communicating is all about?

Do you use quotes when you present material? Have you ever seen a presentation where the presenter used too many quotes? What happened? Has anyone ever tried the pacing and leading technique on you? Did it work? Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment…