How good at you at getting people to agree with you? Some people are a whole lot better at changing minds than others. Find out 6 secrets (rarely shared) that top sales performers use to be highly persuasive.

Can’t get people to stop annoying habits? No one in your family has lost a pound? If you’re fed up with nagging, you may be interested in how persuasive people do it.

Many sales professionals learn how to be effective in presentation skills training. Here are 6 tips to open up minds easily and ethically.

Use these top tips to be more effective and convincing.

1. Speak their language
If you want to connect with your audience…you must match their language. Learn to speak the way they do. What is the fastest way to do this most of the time? Listen.

Pay close attention to how people express their ideas—in conversation, at work, and in writing. Notice phrases, sentence structure and insider lingo. Next, adapt your personal style of speech to align with theirs.

It doesn’t seem like much to you. But it makes a world of difference for your audience.

2. Discover values
Know what each audience truly values. By understanding this first, you can position your recommendations to match their core values.

This is truly sales 101. You would think this kind of values discovery would be the first thing on anyone’s list. But many professionals and subject matter experts don’t ever think about this.

Once you understand core values, people are more open to listening. (Try this at work…and at home. This effort on your part transforms communication in a snap.)

3. Be brief
Ever veto an idea because you got impatient? It’s quite common. If the presenter takes too long to express an idea, a brilliant proposal can get axed. Why? People get impatient. They will choose a lesser idea or a poorer proposal because it is concise.

Think about it. You make decisions like this. You get impatient when a colleague or friend is long winded, rambling and take forever to get to the point. You check out purely on length. Welll, you’re not alone.

A lot of busy decision makers get impatient if the core concept is not clear in 15-20 seconds.

Practice being brief. Refine your proposal, stating ideas quickly. Remove excess words. Focus on short words, short sentences and short value statements.

Use this quick rule of thumb. If you have to take a breath while stating your proposal, it’s too long. Work with an executive coach to carve away any excess.

4. Be clear
In my presentation skills training, we practice saying simple, clear statements. You can practice this too. The key? Practice saying key concepts as if to a young child. It’s not that your clients and prospects are children. It’s just that you have to be extremely clear to grab attention. The clearer you speak, the easier it is to capture attention.

Presenting to people and changing their minds is not the time to show off your expertise. Speak clearly. Speak simply. Your goal is to affect their thinking. If they don’t understand your brilliant idea, they may not want to admit it. Instead, they’ll just decide to vote against your recommendation.

5. Meet first, then extend
Meet people where they are. Acknowledge what’s working about the way they are doing things. No one likes to look foolish or ignorant. By focusing on what works, you’re reassuring people that what they know and do is valuable.

Meet first, and then show what could change. By focusing on solid skills, core strengths, people won’t feel threatened or afraid of a proposed change.

6. Show and tell
Simplify the new way. Show it in an easy-to-understand picture. If at all possible, draw this picture while your audience watches.

Why does this work so well? If you can draw the picture while people watch, it has to be simple. This forces you to not get lost in detail, verbiage or complex jargon.

Also, drawing on the spot shows your commitment to communicate. It is open and courageous, encouraging your audience to also be open and courageous in seeing things a new way.

Each of these tips will help you open up discussion and open up minds. They are easy and ethical. Try them at home, at work, and in the rest of your life. Fun, right? In presentation skills training you learn powerful tips for productive and creative communications in all parts of your life.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: