Develop Persuasive Content in Your Message

Are ideas born interesting or made interesting? Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard

Award-winning author and presentation expert Nancy Duarte has a new book out: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. Over the next few days, I will be posting an outline of each of the book’s sections as well as zeroing in on a specific topic.

Section 2: Message

  • Define Your Big Idea – clearly state your point of view
  • Generate Content to Support the Big Idea – when you’re brainstorming, more is more
  • Anticipate Resistance – think through opposing perspectives
  • Amplify Your Message Through Contrasts – create and resolve tension
  • Build an Effective Call to Action – get things done
  • Choose Your Best Ideas – sort and filter
  • Organize Your Thoughts – outline your presentation by writing clear, active slide titles that hang together
  • Balance Analytical and Emotional Appeal – stay credible while you reel people in
  • Lose the Jargon – is your language clear enough to pass the “grandmother test”

Build an Effective Call to Action

Presentations should move people to act – but only if you explicitly state what actions you want them to take, and when.

Are you asking them to be doers, suppliers, influencers, or innovators?

Doers instigate activities. They are the worker bees. Once they know what needs to be done, they’ll take on the tasks. They also recruit and motivate others to complete important activities.

Suppliers get resources. They are the people with resources – financial, human, or material. They have the means to get what you need to move forward.

Influencers change perceptions. They can sway individuals or groups, large or small, mobilizing them to adopt and evangelize your idea.

Innovators generate ideas. They think outside the box for new ways to add value to and spread your idea. They create strategies, perspectives, and products.

(Duarte, p 39)

Whether your audience is corporate, political, scientific, academic, or religious, the people you’re addressing should fall into one of these categories.

Be explicit in your request – and about how it will benefit your audience.

Next: Story

This is Part 3 of a series looking at Nancy Duarte’s new book HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, highly recommended for all leaders.

Part 1

Part 2


6 thoughts on “Develop Persuasive Content in Your Message

  1. Pingback: Use Storytelling Principles and Structure to Engage Your Audience « 27gen

  2. Pingback: Media – Identify the Best Modes for Communicating Your Message « 27gen

  3. Pingback: Slides – Conceptualize and Simplify the Display of Information « 27gen

  4. Pingback: Delivery – Deliver Your Presentation Authentically « 27gen

  5. Pingback: Impact – Measure and Increase Your Presentation’s Impact on Your Audience « 27gen

  6. Pingback: Engage Your Audience, Sell Your Ideas, and Inspire People to Act | 27gen

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