Presentation Tips: Using Leverage to Persuade Your Audience

As you think about your next meeting, presentation, or sales call, consider how difficult it may be to persuade this audience to act on your message. Moving someone to action is a challenging task, especially if minds and behaviors must be changed in the process. But it can be done, and there are ways we can make it easier. Simple preparation is a must, of course. By getting to know our audience, crafting a simple, clear message, and maximizing our credibility with our audience, it becomes easier for us to move them to act on our message.

One metaphor we use in our workshops to illustrate this concept is the high school physics lesson of leverage.

  • The fulcrum represents how well we know our audience. The better we know our audience, the closer we move our fulcrum to them, and the easier they become to move.
  • The lever represents our message itself. A stronger message equals a longer lever, which makes persuasion easier.
  • The downward force, or weight, represents our credibility — the figurative weight we carry with our audience. The more credibility, and the stronger delivery of our message, the more downward force we can apply to our lever.

As we prepare our communication, we adjust these variables, and our audience becomes easier to persuade and move to action. Think about these tools as you assess your next presentation or meeting, and how you can increase your own leverage in that opportunity to persuade.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at


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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.