3 common mistakes when trying to be influential or persuasive

by Daniel Batten on September 17, 2009

So the more you care about something the more you tend to forget that other people don’t (yet).

The 3 biggest mistakes + 3 of there manifestations + 3 compulsory remedies are these:

1. Symptom: people with great products/ideas never get customers or investors or interest or a winning team

Common diagonsis: because they have forgotten what is jargon and what isn’t. What’s known only to them, what isn’t

Remedy for the impatient: get someone who doesn’t know about what you do, to hear you and give feedback. Their ignorance is a precious commodity.

2. Symptom: I’ve seen person after person with their heart in the right place and their mouth in the wrong place, describing facts and logic they believed in deeply with the mistaken conviction that this would be enough to make people listen.

Diagnosis: Ignorance about the fact that the foundation of communication is not the content, it is the emotional journey (yes, even if its a try subject: especially if its a dry subject) you take people on

Remedy for the impatient: Describe the story of how you first got interested in what you did, before you were passionate about it

Most fall into this trap. Environmentalists get angry at the very people they want to change, “experts” lose people with detail, economists lose people with figures, and almost everyone forgets how little their audience start off caring about what you love.

3. Symptom: Nervous delivery. Erroneous belief content matters more than the way you say it.

Diagnosis: Institution-itis: Common ailment and consequence of12 years of schooling where you only look at content, not expression.

Remedy for the impatient: re-education. Beyond The Ceiling coaching is the best way of course! But certainly and definitely at least with a mentor who can teach you to play your most important instrument: your own human speech. With the guidance of someone whose learned the hard way, the path to inspirational communication is much faster. As Churchill said “Life is too short to learn from our own mistakes; better that we learn from the mistakes of others”.

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