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How to Persuade People to Act on your Ideas

How to Persuade People to Act on Your Ideas

How to Persuade People to Act on Your Ideas

Everyone thinks that their ideas are the correct ones. Consequently, we would like other people to act upon them. Since we cannot use force to compel people to act on our ideas, we must use persuasion and motivation.

Therefore, we must know the best way to persuade people to act on our ideas. We can do that by the following methods:

Communicate your ideas in a way that emphasises the practical benefits for the listeners, NOT for yourself.

The first thing to know is that people are motivated by their own self-interest (and/or that of their families). Therefore, your ideas must be communicated in a way that appeals to their self-interest, not yours.

If the speaker were to say, "If you implement my ideas and did XYZ, then that would make me a lot richer", then the chances of motivating the listeners to act would be practically nil.

On the other hand, if the speaker says, "If you were to do XYZ, then that would make YOU and your family much better off", then the chances of motivating the listeners to act are much higher.

Always present your ideas from the listeners perspective.

Communicate your ideas so that the implementation sounds easy.

The second thing to know is that people don't like to waste energy. The conservation of energy is a fundamental law of nature, which in humans translates into a desire to get the maximum gain from the minimum of effort. Therefore, our ideas must be communicated in such a way that makes them sound easy to put into practice.

If you make your ideas sound complicated and difficult, then they will not be interested. However, if you make your ideas sound simple and easy to implement, they will be more interested.

When presenting ideas, remember the rule of three. Which means people like to hear ideas broken down into three easy parts, so that they can more easily take it in.

For instance, I have framed this piece to have three major sets. It makes this article easier to remember and therefore, to act upon.

Remember that people like "easy things" more than "difficult things". Always present your ideas in their simplest form.

Communicate your ideas so the results will quickly be apparent.

The third thing to know is that people don't like to wait. They want instant results. We live in a now society. We want instant noodles and five-minute abs. So, to persuade people to act, your ideas should be communicated in such a way that their implementation will begin to show positive results immediately.

Even if the eventual result will take months or years, you can communicate your message by comparing it to something that will take even longer. Or you can say that, on implementing your ideas, the listeners will begin to notice improvements immediately.

Imagine a sales person were trying to sell the idea of joining a gym and said to the prospect, "To get the body you want, will take you about ten months of hard training and strict dieting", then the chances of the prospect joining would be close to zero.

On the other hand, if the sales person said, "If you were to join the gym and follow the special programme that our experts have designed to exactly match your specific body type, you will begin to see positive results in your strength, endurance, energy and appearance within days." then the listener will most likely sign up immediately.

Always make your ideas sound as if the positive results will begin immediately.

Summary: How to get people to act on your ideas.

Communicate your Ideas in a way that:

  1. Emphasises the practical benefits for the listeners, not for you.
  2. Makes the implementation of the ideas sound easy.
  3. Makes their benefits appear immediately.

Communication Skills Training

The art of persuasion is one of the topics covered in our Communication Skills Training Course - which is available as face-to-face training, online and in-house!

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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