Influence and persuasion: Be a positive presence

coloured cotton stretched across a piece of card grouping together at two points to get across the message of influence and persuasion.

Influence and persuasion training can sometimes come across as a bit impersonal and can focus on what you can get from other people rather than what you can do for others. The thing that can easily be forgotten is that people won’t want to help you or lend a hand if you aren’t willing to do the same for them.

The most successful way to influence or persuade others is to build a relationship with them first. We also know that building relationships in the professional world can sometimes be called ‘networking’. With the increase in remote events, we have a networking workshop that can help you build confidence and even a strategy to help you thrive.

If you are unsure where to start, we have put together our top 4 tips to help you be a positive presence which can launch your journey towards successful influence and persuasion.

Our top 4 tips to create a positive presence & influence others

1. Talk about things you actually know about

We all know people who try and pretend that they know more than they do, maybe we are even guilty of doing it sometimes because of wanting to come across as sophisticated or knowledgeable.

But there is nothing worse than talking about something you have no authority in when you are networking; it can give a false impression or, even worse, leave you in a state of chaos when you are asked to complete a task that you don’t actually know how to do.

When you have a conversation and the topic switches to something you don’t understand, or someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, take it as a learning opportunity and seek to find answers rather than bluffing your way through!

2. Be likeable (But know not everyone will)

In the first seven seconds of meeting someone, you have formed a judgement of them. This is not something that is necessarily a conscious cognitive process, nor can it be prevented.

This is why first impressions are so important. By coming across as approachable and kind you are more likely to have a positive experience when communicating with others. Equally remembering someone’s name or making eye contact is more likely to help you make a good impression.

However, it is important to remember that not everyone is going to take to you and while it can be difficult if we do not make a connection that we are hoping to, there are always other people to talk to and other conversations to be had.

3. Listen more than you speak

Hearing what other people are saying is essential as you try and build a relationship with others. There is a significant difference between listening to hear and listening to respond.

You’ll find that you can learn more about other people if you let them talk, let their knowledge and expertise drive a conversation and truly acknowledge any wisdom that they communicate.

When it comes to being a positive influence, the more you listen to hear the better impression you can make because you truly are interested in the conversation that is being had. Try not to brush away comments or information that you think you already know; other people will have a different perspective that can lead to you learning more or approaching a topic in a unique way.

4. Don’t just take

When working with influence and persuasion you can find people who, once they have what they want, move on to the next thing.

Not only can this negatively affect other people’s impressions of you, but it can also influence your ability to receive help or information from other people. People aren’t going to want to work with someone who takes what they can get and doesn’t give anything in return.

Networking and communication are not about what you can get from other people, it is about how you can raise everyone else up. The more supportive you are and the more you offer a hand to other people, the more likely you are to be able to find the help you need in the future.

We hope that you have found this useful, and it has provided you with a stronger foundation when considering influence and persuasion. If you would like more information about virtual networking, check out this blog How to Thrive at Virtual Networking Events.

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