It’s not about you, it’s about them!
So what are motivational drivers? Imagine words like status, fame, tradition, performance, moral, duty, fun, excitement, etc. These words represent an aspect of your audience’s basic human need that is left unsatisfied — context around this word, described through a captivating story, will most likely drive them to take action. Persuasion starts when people have the greatest gap to fill. In the first minute of your pitch, the aim is to affect that emotional state — then lead them through the pitch to transform the state from negative to positive, from passive to active.
This part of the preparation for the pitch is most likely for people to skip entirely, or forget about when they step in front of prospects, investors, and partners. Too often they are too hasty and eager to start talking about themselves, their idea, their story, the journey... I stop them in their tracks. Who is your audience? What are they about? What would be their why for joining in? After ten years I’m not surprised anymore by how little the client knows about their audience. The persona is by default based more on demographics than psychographics. And even if they have done their homework right, and have identified the needs and wants of the audience — seldom do they have the patience to start the story with them. One, two, three, it’s all about me! If you want to be persuasive, you need to have the patience to go deep into the context of their pain and gain, their fear state, and their desire state. You have to open with resonance to their motivational driver, to ignite their decision-making process. Get the right driver right, you get their attention.
You are not asking for anything, you are there to give!
Just think, how would you stand, how excited would you sound, how certain would you be — had you known from the future state — that this idea of yours wins big time! Your certainty shows through your nonverbals and para-verbals. These two are the ethos and the pathos of Aristotle’s martial arts, and together they make for 90% of your audience’s interpretation of you and the words you speak. They will trust what they see — how you hold yourself, how you stand, how you gesture, how you hold eye contact. They will trust what they hear — in the emotion of your voice — which is the para-verbal element of public speaking. Certainty, confidence, clarity — all emotional states. Emotion gives your voice its color. This is why doubt, insecurities, thinking of bugs that still need fixing, and tests went down the drain, this changes the color of your voice negatively. And you don’t want that to affect your pitch. Bugs will be fixed in the future — and from the future you pitch!
My clients need to visualize the future for days before the pitch to get the emotional state right. To calibrate their vibration — from the perspective of neuroscience, you ignite the parts of your brain linked to your future success — neural coupling will occur that sparks the same regions of the brain. Neural coupling is a proven scientific fact. The second reason why calibrating your emotional state into the future frame is to imagine yourself as the one delivering a gift from the future to your prospects. You must be in the giving state of mind. Give, and you shall receive!
Your words have energy, not your deck!
The last element of persuasion I want to mention here is the verbal element. Words themselves are important too, as each word has a specific vibration. Words together form sentences that have a specific energetic imprint. It’s a bit like Mother Theresa once said "Don’t invite me to anti-war rallies, invite me to pro-peace rallies and I’ll come!". Think — what would you be feeling when you start thinking about "anti-war"? War, right? Negative aspects of it. Pictures are stacking themselves in your mind already. Now think about pro-peace! How does your image stack change? What pictures are you seeing? Are they different? How did your mood change?
Most likely, your audience already has a previous picture, or many of them — their failures, their wins, their experiences with similar products or alternatives. This is why their vocabulary also needs to be researched, examined and used — if and when necessary. When I examine the text of my clients I look for the vibration of the word, the melody, and also the orientation the wording itself produces. The end effect is once again a specific emotional state. This is why incremental changes in the primacy, recency, repetition of specific words, and the element of surprise with unexpected words — have a gigantic effect on the power of the pitch.
We do what we do, we play how we play, we buy what we buy to satisfy our limbic/emotional need that is not entirely met — and the driver motivates us to take action. Your offering provides the bridge towards the desired state — the gain side. First in line is the emotional clue revealing the driver matches their e-motivation. The interest is raised. Then come the rationalizations in the form of market validation, product testing, and all the due diligence processes that confirm that the decision (the hunch, if you will) from the start is correct.
You have to deliver from the future state of mind that allows you to sell to yourself first. These three elements are the non visible magic of the art of persuasion and influence. If you want to know more, feel free to contact me anytime.