Have Something to Say, and Say it Well

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Use the principles of Persuasive Communication to enhance your selling and marketing communications, online content and blog posts.

Persuasive Communication is a powerful approach. The method helps you deliver a key argument or message and deliver it in a logical way.  You can capture the essence of the situation or problem,  ask the key question your audience has on their mind, and deliver the single-minded message and evidence that you want to deliver.  From my earlier work at PA Consulting and continuing today, I use what I believe is a very powerful model for communicating and delivering persuasive arguments. You will often find me asking members of my teams, “What is your SCQA? ” – a typical question I heard while at PA.   The title of this post is from my colleague, Murugasan Nielsen and his company,  NotaBene. (Full disclosure, I work with and recommend NotaBene for the advanced delivery of facilitation workshops around persuasive communications).

What is Persuasive Communication?

Persuasive communication is a structured way to position and communicate that ties your answer – or proposed idea –  to the situation and complication that must be overcome by your audience.  Let me guide you through an example by introducing the model to convince you that you should embrace this approach within your organization. To do this, I will use “SCQA” or Situation, Complication, Question and Answer which is the structure that will help guide the delivery of your messages.  SCQA can be used in more subtle ways, but to illustrate how the logic it works, I will use the structure explicitly in the following argument about the impact of Persuasive Communications:

Situation

Communicating a clear and persuasive message to your audience is critical – whether in a sales or service delivery situation or presenting a solution or new proposition to the marketplace, people and organizations need to deliver their content and ideas in a clear and directed way that speaks to the key issues and challenges that your audience wants to fix. If you can more effectively communicate your message and persuasive argument, you will be much more likely to convince your audience that they should take the action you propose.

Complication

Unfortunately, too many of our communications lack the clarity and structure of good top-down thinking and problem solving. Bloggers of all quality and experience make arguments without tying together key issues, sales teams meander through client conversations without delivering a clear and persuasive argument backed by logic, and corporate presentations miss the mark in delivering a single-minded message and instead offer only a reflection of the company itself – without a focus on the audience and the opportunities they seek to address.

With the proliferation of online media and brand messages, it is critically important to differentiate your message and deliver it in a clear and compelling way. In order to use a more persuasive communication technique, your writers and presenters need better tools to apply structured communications in their day-to-day activities. It is difficult to ensure that teams learn and apply an understandable approach consistently across the organization.

Question

How can we change the way our teams engage their audience and deliver single minded messages to drive results?

Answer

Build structured communications into the fabric of your organization by helping communicators deliver compelling arguments that drive the results.

You can do this by following three strategies:

  1. Formally introduce Structured Thinking and Delivery using  workshops that use hands-on practice, case studies and real-world examples.
  2. Reinforce the approach by applying structured communication techniques across all your interactions day-to-day – including presentations, emails, blog posts and marketing communications
  3. Ensure adoption across the organization by leading by example and recognizing the impacts that come from applying the approach.

Persuasive Communication is a critical element of an effective organization and a foundation for realizing results from your audience engagement.How have you used these techniques in your organization? Please share your ideas and comment at the Revenue Architects blog.  Good luck and good communicating!

 

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