Organisational Change Management Volume 2

More on the Art of Persuasion

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This is based on a legalistic approach, ie

. Before you start, ask yourself

- what is your objective?

- why are you trying to achieve it?

- how are you going to do it?

. Develop a strategy and structure to your argument; break down your argument into parts and deal with each, one by one

. Know your audience and know the story you want to tell them

. Prepare so that you know your material inside out

. Start strong. Look at what needs to be done to maintain your audience's attention

. Start with a brief description of what your argument is about, ie two sentences or a paragraph is sufficient

. Outline the main issues to be addressed in your argument

. Work out the weaknesses in your argument and how you are going to deal with them

. Emphasize your good points and acknowledge your negative ones

. Be confident, but do not oversell your case

. Maintain control of the situation - never let your opponent take control

. Maintain eye contact

. Anticipate questions and have answers ready

. Use short sentences

. Avoid padding words, phrases and unnecessary mannerisms

. Use pauses to add emphasis

. Vary pace to hold attention

. Use gestures for appropriate impact - do not overdo it

. Admit mistakes immediately

. Use notes only as aids - do not read them word for word

. If you have materials to use, have them ready so do not waste time fumbling with them

. Maintain a relaxed posture

. Finish strongly

Hallmarks of a good argument

. Clarity of purpose

. Logical structure and organisation

. Identification of issues

. Audibility

. Pace

. Clarity of expression

. Use of appropriate language

. Appropriate eye contact

. Anticipation of counterpoints

. Acknowledgement of opponent's points

. Courtesy

(source: Marcus Priest, 2007)


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