Persuasive Communication and Success

Dynamic communication skills are one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to become a dynamic communicator, you need to master three basic, but very important communication skills: 1) conversation; 2) writing; and 3) presenting.

Yesterday, I did a post on lifelong learning.  One of the messages of the post was that it pays to pay attention to information that may seem as if it has little relevance to you – you might learn something.

Today’s post is about the information in a book that you might be tempted to overlook if you’re not a sales professional – or if you haven’t read my last post on lifelong learning.

How to Win a Pitch, a very interesting book by Joey Asher, might seem like a book meant only for sales professionals.  But it’s not.  We’re all in sales, as we have to sell ourselves every day.  We have to create positive personal impact to get people interested in us, and then we have to be good communicators to sell our ideas.

Joey presents five common sense fundamentals for becoming a persuasive communicator…

1. Focus your message on the business problem.
2. Organize your message around three memorable points.
3. Show passion.
4. Involve your audience in your presentation.
5. Rehearse…Rehearse…And Rehearse Again.

I like Joey’s points – even if he has five instead of three.  Just kidding.  The important idea is to focus on a minimal number of points.  Joey has five fundamentals for becoming a persuasive communicator.  I have four keys to career and life success: Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Competence.  The fact that my four keys begin with the letter “C” makes it even easier for people to remember them.  In my case, this was a happy coincidence.  I don’t suggest trying to force alliterations or acronyms.  If your subject matter lends itself to them – great go with it.  If not, don’t force it.

I also love what Joey has to say about passion.  He is 100% correct when he says that your voice is your first key to passion.  It’s OK to sound as if you’re excited – you should be excited about the points you’re making.

I once lost a job I really wanted because I didn’t let my passion for the job show through in the interview.  Ironically, I made a conscious decision to act in a laid back manner in the interview – you know, “We’re both professionals here.  I’m calm.  I know myself.  No sense in over hyping it.”  As it turns out, I was one of two finalists for the job.  The recruiter told me that the hiring manager liked my skills and experience more than the other guy, but he hired the other guy because he showed more passion and drive.  I’ve never made that mistake again.

By nature, I am a passionate guy.  I care about what I do.  I let this passion show through, when I’m selling and when I’m doing my work.  It’s hard to care too much.  And, if I’m going to fail, I’m going to fail showing how much, not how little, I care.  Joey Asher and I urge you to do the same.

I agree with Joey on the importance of rehearsals.  As I often say, only half jokingly, “Preparation makes up for a lack of talent.  That’s how I’ve gotten as far as I have in my life and career.”  Prepare, prepare, prepare and you’ll become a better communicator.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are dynamic communicators.  Dynamic communicators have mastered three critical skills: conversation, writing and presenting.  Dynamic communicators realize that we are all sales people and that we need to constantly sell ourselves and our ideas.  In How to Win a Pitch, Joey Asher suggests that dynamic communicators have mastered five fundamentals: 1) Focus your message on the business problem. 2) Organize your message around three memorable points.  3) Show passion. 4) Involve your audience in your presentation.  5) Rehearse…Rehearse…And Rehearse Again.

That’s my take on what Joey Asher has to say in How to Win a Pitch.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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