The Second Stage of Incredible Influence

by Daniel Batten on April 27, 2011

At school or University you were probably taught how to present an argument. It went something like “make an assertion, pick an example, offer some proof.” Have you ever noticed that by doing this in the “real world” – you are inviting counter-argument? It’s how examiners and perhaps judges are persuaded (ie: people who are trained specifically to respond only to reasoning – not emotion. For everyone else – you lessen your chances of getting agreement). So what should you do instead?

Most people do nothing instead – in other words, they throw away structure altogether. This is the wrong response to the right problem. What you need to do is structure your points for agreement, not argument.

How do you do that?

There are three ways. The first way is to use what I call the “3 Ss”.

“Statement”, “Support”, “So what”.

The opening statement should be something is bold and captivates someone’s curiosity. It should be 100% true without hype too.

The support should offer evidence of the statement. What the evidence is depends on who you are talking to. Don’t assume it means facts and data – emotional evidence such as someone’s direct experience, or story is often more compelling.

The “so what” is where you relate it directly to their world. Most people assume the person you are talking to will do this for themselves. Fatal mistake. They will follow you where you ask them to go. That means, you need to invite them to think about how it relates to them.

If you want to see an example of this, here’s a real-life one I’m working 0n at the moment.

It’s something I’d say when someone asks me to tell them about one of the 2-day courses I run. Not a written “promo” – as the way this would work in writing is different – it’s simply the best example I can share.

Next week – the most simple and most overlooked stage of influence.


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