Best-selling author, Harvard instructor, keynote speaker, and brand adviser, Carmine Gallo, has an interesting proposition: that business is in sore need of employees and leaders who are masters of the ancient art of persuasion.
In a 2018 interview with the World Economic Forum, Gallo said, “… at no time in our historical record have interpersonal communication skills been as important as they are today, which is somewhat counterintuitive … But the historians, economists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists I talked to for the book [Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great] all profess the same theme: In this age of artificial intelligence, globalization, automation—the one skill that can separate you not only from the technology that we create but from your peers is mastering the ancient art of persuasion. Combining words and ideas to ignite people’s imagination.” In spite of our computers, smart phones, and LinkedIn accounts, Gallo points out that, “The tools we use to communicate to one another have changed. The way we like to communicate, the way we process information through the vehicle of story, through emotions, through empathy—those things have not changed since the beginning of time.”
In our last blog, “The So-Called ‘Soft Skills’ are the Currency of the Future,” we cited a recent IBM study that identified “effective communication” as one of the top skill sets global companies and leaders are looking for in hiring, and advancing, people. Persuasiveness, the ability to connect with people on an emotional level and motivate them to action, is a key part of being an effective communicator. Whether you’re trying to champion an idea, move a project forward, or convince employees to follow a new path, the quality of persuasiveness comes into play. And Gallo is right; it is an ancient art. He describes Aristotle’s three-part formula for persuasion, used by all great speakers and communicators to this day:
“In order for me to persuade you to change your mind, I need to do three things. I need to have ethos, which is credibility and character. I need to have what Aristotle called Logos, which is a logical structure to my argument. In business, that means the data or the evidence to back up your argument. But the key is that you cannot persuade another person to change their mind without pathos, which is emotion. Everything about human nature—from the stock market to where we invest to how we vote—is based on our emotional narratives that we tell each other as groups and within individuals.”
We couldn’t agree more. In our workshops, we use a research-based, time-tested methodology that helps participants deliver on those three critical requirements of persuasion. People learn to establish credibility by being more authentic and confident when they present or give a talk. In each of our programs participants are given a framework for structuring an argument so it is clear and compelling. And they learn to make an emotional connection with their audience through powerful storytelling and an engaging delivery style.
So, if we’ve convinced you that becoming a more persuasive communicator should top your professional development list in 2020, know that we have fun, highly interactive, innovative workshops and on-demand, digital microlearning programs to help you inspire and persuade your audience in any setting. Check them out.
Love the idea but afraid you can’t make the time because of workload, deadlines, and the rest of life? In the spirit of persuasion, we’ll leave you with Aristotle’s version of Nike’s “Just Do It”:
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
On the journey with you,
The PowerSpeaking Team