Persuade Perfect: Be better at convincing your audience at your event.

We all have different styles of being persuaded. In other words: different personality types look for different types of evidence to determine the viability of a persuasive argument.

So, naturally, what persuades Donald Trump wouldn't do much for Mr. Rogers (and vice versa).

As with learning styles there are a number of personality and persuasion models. Fortunately these models pretty much agree on the cross-section of criteria needed to reach most of the personality profiles.

We use the personality profiles suggested by Dr. Tony Alessandra in his book The Platinum Rule when building persuasive presentations at an event. The profiles are as follows: 

  • The Director: Challenge-oriented, decisive, propelled by the inner need to be in charge, overcoming obstacles and accomplishment. Think Walt Disney. 
  • The Socializer: Chatty, expressive, fun-loving optimist that likes the crest of ideas, causes or projects. Key for socializers are building a network of friends and admirers. Think Austin Powers. 
  • The Relater: Friendly and personable, they operate at a slow steady pace and seldom show emotional peaks or valleys. They like to progress slowly and methodically. Think Mr. Rogers.
  • The Thinker: Cerebrally oriented, prefer tasks over people and are contemplative, cautious and thorough. They thrive on detail and discipline. Think Joe Friday. 
 The above profiles are extremes; people tend to be a blend of types (i.e. a Socializing Director).

You can see some of the implications of persuasion profiles here: 

How this manifests at an event:

Your audience is full of people who can have radically different persuasion styles from each other, or from the presenters. A room full of sales people is more likely to be aligned with each other and a sales manager presenter on persuasion style than an audience of mixed roles and professions, however, a room full of social workers is less likely to be aligned in persuasion style with a CFO presenter (for instance). 

With this in mind, the trick is to craft your event and event presentations with subtle appeal to ALL FOUR persuasion styles. Even if you're not looking to overtly sell something or convince people to change--you are looking for buy-in on your information; a reason for people to listen. 

Four-point Persuasion Plan: 

For every presentation, include the following 4 elements:
  1. Facts: What something is, how it's going to work, and what you KNOW to be true about the effects. 
  2. Case Studies: Success stories of how something has worked before with peers or in other organizations.
  3. Plans: Detail on how something will be implemented--from front to back. 
  4. Relevance: How the implementation will make their life better/make them a star. What it will look like in the future when it's successful.
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