Persuasive Speaking

One of the most valuable skills in live is to master the art of persuasive speaking. In ancient Rome, persuasive speakers could make it all the way to the top of society, this is a widely known fact. But the truth is that has always been the case, and in todays world is even more true than ever before. We are more interconnected than we have ever been, messages get carried faster and farther to more people – if you possess the skill of persuasive speaking, you have better chances in all areas of life.

To The Point

If a person that is speaking to an audience start to ramble, he will quickly lose their attention. Imagine that each individuals attention is worth $100 dollars per 30 seconds. Imagine they had actually paid you that money, and if you start to talk about too many unrelated things, they will get irritated because they think that you do not deliver enough value. If you think the $100 per 30 seconds is absurd, then you do not respect the time of your audience enough. That is really how you should think of it. You have to deliver them something of value, and not use the opportunity to show off your creativity or your education.


Keep it short and simple – this mantra is specially true for public speaking. Think about it: listening is actually more difficult than reading. When you read, you can do so at your own speed, you can go back and re-read and so on. But when you listen, you have to listen at the speed of the speaker and there is no way to re-listen. This is something that is not often acknowledged – most people think reading is more difficult than listening, but I really believe the opposite is true.

So when you speak, make it simple. Make it easy for them to follow. Make it interesting, entertaining and use your speech to make them curious for more, rather than trying to force feed the information.

Avoid jargon and buzzwords and always try to break complex information down into simple pieces of easily digestible thoughts.

Element of Surprise

Our brains are hardwired to ignore the predictable. If you want to hold their attention, you must deliver noteworthy information to your audience, and one of the best way to keep them interest is by surprising them.

Bill Gates was never thought of as a great public speaker. But early 2009, Bill Gates gave a speech at TED that gained a lot of attention. If you don’t know about the Bill’s malaria mosquitoes, go watch his TED talk now to see what it was all about.


If you use powerpoints or any other kind of slides, then try NOT to put words on them. Pictures are way better to support your message.

Finally, it really is not possible to put all there is to say about persuasive speeches into one article. One of the best things you can do is to study persuasive speeches. Listen to them, read their transcripts, commit them to memory, analyze them to find out what exactly made them so persuasive. Why did the speaker chose to use the words they did, and not others? How did they use questions? And so on.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

gitura martin October 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

your message is really educative.

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