To Persuade a Listener, Establish Common Ground

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It’s one thing to give a smooth presentation. It’s another to move the people in your audience to do something. To accomplish the latter, figure out what you have in common with the people in the room, and speak to the audience at that level. Think about the values, interests, shared experiences, or challenges that you share so you can reference them in your dialogue. This is tougher to do with a broad audience like a group of seminar participants from a variety of organizations and industries. The overlap won’t be immediately evident, because there are so many perspectives and backgrounds to consider. So you’ll need to work hard to find it, but that work will pay off.

Adapted from the Guide to Persuasive Presentations.

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