You may be able to convince someone that you have the best idea, product, or service, but can you persuade them to take action on your proposal? Quotations are one type of persuasive tool that can help move people to take action. But is there really a difference between being convincing and being persuasive? According to Seth Godin, marketing
and business thought leader, “Persuasion appeals to the emotions and to fear and to the imagination. Convincing requires a spreadsheet or some other rational device.”
I have found the best presentations have the right mix of convincing and persuasive elements. That mix depends on your topic and, of course, your audience. There are 4 tools you can use to enhance the persuasive aspect of your
presentations, these include quotations, examples, stories and images.
The right quotations can be powerfully persuasive tools because they allow you to inject more emotion into your presentation, and it is through emotion that we connect as human beings. As Helen Keller said “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
Quotations are also a powerful persuasive tool because they add external validation to your idea/proposal and enhance your credibility; you are adding confirmation from an external expert or leader. It may be better to find quotations from people your audience knows and respects, but this is not always necessary. For example, I didn’t know who Joseph Roux (above) was, but his quotation resonated with me.
You can present your quotations in different ways, ie some words on a slide or through the spoken word. I usually read the quote to the audience, this way I can add emotion in how I say the words. For a quotation to be memorable it is helpful to keep it as short as possible.
Good quotations can be found in many places – podcasts, white papers, books, and conversations but interestingly I find quotation websites less helpful. This quotation by Seth Godin came from one of his TED presentations “We are living in a century of idea diffusion: people who can spread ideas…win.”
A great presentation moves your idea or project or sale forward. Use quotations strategically to be more persuasive.
They can help you win.
Refuse to be boring