See “Summer Persuasion – Taking a look at the masterful art of influence and persuasion PART 1” to read Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman.”
This speech is amazing for several reasons:
- The key message is repeated several times. “Ain’t I a Woman”
- She had a call to action for the audience
- The speech was short and concise and she let her audience know she was finished
- She had examples that appealed to all personality types
- She began with a style that would fit her audience
- She is passionate
- She builds her examples, going from the simple courtesy to work, to the lash, child loss and then moves to the supreme power. It is an excellent example of building. Shakespeare did it all the time
This speech could have been prepared in the hall where she spoke, or weeks in advance, that is unknown, what we know is that it was not written down. She was illiterate. But she was prepared. She knew that each time you speak you are making a presentation. That is a point I endeavor to make with all my clients in boot camps, workshops and one-on-one.
Part Two – Persuasion
Make your point. One of the most effective methods of influencing your audience, and this can be one or one hundred. Is to, get to the point. May times we waste the precious minutes in the beginning of you communication and to not make our point. Now it may be necessary, depending on the communication style of our audience to make casual conversation, however this is an important communication. It is not meandering such as, “Uh, I wanted to talk to you about the, uh… situation… uh in my department.”
I am amazed at how many people begin their communications with the word, “Uh” or “And uh”. This is one of the weakest ways to begin any conversation. It implies three things:
- You don’t know your subject.
- You don’t think what you are saying is important.
- You are weak and unsure.
Instead start with a pause. This gives you control. Begin the conversation as I use in my boot camps or communications training:
Use the PREP Method
Point: Public speaking is an important skill for business of your personal life.
Reason: When you cannot articulate your ideas you get marginalized.
Example: A client I worked with was terrified to speak in public…so she never spoke out at meetings. Consequently she was often passed over for promotion, because she was unable to share her ideas and vision. She began to take public speaking course and practicing and today she is a senior VP at her company.
Point: Take a public speaking course and never turn down
Try to use these techniques every day, and never turn down a speaking opportunity.