We spend a ton of time helping our participants make the most persuasive argument possible, and are constantly hearing presentations seeking approvals, alignment, resources or a sale of some kind. And in many cases, we are helping our youngest clients advocate for themselves in a job interview. All of us need to be good advocates — for our ideas, our projects, our products, ourselves. No matter what our role is within our company, of especially if we are trying to get launched in our career, we need to be good at making compelling, persuasive message plans.
But regardless of the kind of persuasive argument you might be trying to make, there are a a few universal truths we all need to keep in mind. If we want to make our most persuasive argument, we need to do a few things… make a clear ask… detail what is involved in the ask… show what the business case for that ask is… and also show what the cost is for not doing what you are asking for or recommending.
If we are trying to get hired, we have to paint a vision of what we would bring to the role, which is a implicit way of laying the cost of not hiring us.
In other words, we need to paint a complete picture, of the upside and the downside, of the cost of saying “yes” and the cost of saying “no.”
Make sure you are giving a realistic view of what the opportunity could mean, but also make sure to spend some time showing the cost of what NOT taking advantage could mean. Make sure to demonstrate the market share your new idea might generate, but also the cost to market share of saying “no.” Make sure to show clearly how much budget increase you are requesting, and how it will be spent. But also show what the implications of not increasing the budget will be.
In other words, be the person who can show the full spectrum of the idea, both sides of the argument, the pro and the con. Be the person who can show what our new reality might look like if we do this, AND if we don’t. Don’t just show the benefit of the idea and what it will cost to execute. Also show what it will cost if we don’t do it.
Be the person who can argue either side of the discussion.
Be the person who presents the complete story, in a balanced and strategic way.
Showing both sides of the discussion will win you lots of credibility.
Good luck, and have a great day.
We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.
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