How to speak more persuasively?

Speaking at a conference.

In your daily contacts with other people, there are frequent occasion when you may find yourself striving to convince someone of the correctness of an opinion.

It might be in a small matter as the best road to take to a certain place or a serious matter such as what career choice to make. 

In any event, when you are right, are you able to persuade others that it is?"

Right motive

To speak persuasively one must have the right motive.

Are you sincerely trying to benefit others or only yourself?

Since self-interest is usually evident, it can stifle persuasive speech.

For example, if one speaks much of the time for the purpose of self-interest then on one occasion he sincerely tries to benefit others, his views may be rejected although beneficial just because of his reputation of being a self-seeker.

Listening and Questioning

Though you have the right view on a matter, still the person you are trying to help may have a different view.

This will often require that you listen to the other person.

Listening will help you to get a clear of what he believes.

Moreover, listening may furnish you with basis for asking some thought-provoking questions.

A few well-chosen questions often can bring to light the truth about a matter.

In court cases, attorneys know the value of questions in what is called cross-examination.

They regard cross-examination as one of the best means for discovering the truth and liken it to a sword for cutting through and destroying falsehood.

Hence, some pointed question may often expose a weak case and prepare the other person for your view.

On the other hand, if you did not happen to have the truth on the subject, then by listening and asking questions you may be able to see the weakness in your own case.

Have Proof

Persuasive speech does not always require you to present proof first; in some case it may be better to let the other person carry his or her burden of proof.

This is especially fitting when others believe something that you do not or others bring false accusations.

Often persons who hold views that are widely accepted think that they are relived of burden of proof.

Hence it is proper to remind them that if they believe this and that, then what is their proof?

Asked to furnish proof, a person in such a situation might realize that what he or she believes to be true is only based on what others think.

But the fact that large numbers of persons believe a certain thing has little to do with the facts.

At one time it was commonly believed that the sun moved around the earth; but now we know better.

So to speak persuasively one must present proof and not assertions.

To get proof you may be require gathering a number of facts from sources that are accepted as authorities.

Those who do not have proof will shift from the original proposition to another to try to win their case.

The other person must watch out for this and insist they stick to the original issue.

Unless this is done, the one trying to speak persuasively may be led from one subject to another and will likely not be able to speak convincingly on the subject that was under consideration.

How you say it

To speak persuasively it is not only what you say that matters, but equally vital is how you say it.

Presenting of information and facts is an art.

We must realize this, otherwise even though we have the facts, our message will lose its force because of the way we said it.

Hence, we must guard against being cold and detached.

How can we persuade others if we lack earnestness and sincerity?

On other hand, if we become too emotional and speak in an super excited tone voice, the listener may think either we are odd or we are trying to win our case with emotion rather than with reason and truth.

Facts presented in a fair, convincing, pleasant and gracious manner are powerful persuaders in causing others to acknowledge our viewpoints that can benefit them.

So, do well by letting others benefit from your wealth of experience by speaking persuasively.