It is possible to influence others subtly and obviously . Your dress or appearance could be influencing at the same time as your spoken word. Imagine the added power if these were working together. Let’s not imagine the reverse. We really do have two brains…maybe many. One will be decoding the tone and another the meaning of your words. The one working on tone might decide that the words can’t be relied on and take the meaning to be opposite to what you are saying. This is sarcasm or irony….or humour. We learn to do this. Subtle humour is lost on some adults and small children.
We learn to speak. We learn the meaning of words. We learn language. Somehow we pick up the meaning of tone, pausation and humour along the way. I don’t ever remember being told what a certain tone meant. I already knew. I could recognise anger without being told.
Where am I going with this post?
I am suggesting that you look closely at what you communicate unconsciously before working on your language and articulation skills. If you are speaking to a group and you want to sound honest and authentic, then be honest and authentic. Say what you mean without being blunt. Make sure your content is valuable to the group. If you are not sure how you come across to others, ask. Do your research. Content is King.
Once you have decided on your content, then work on the structure, chunking, visual support, pausation. Project strongly even if you feel diffident. Look at the audience. Dress as if you respected the group. Dress like them but up a notch,not two. Start well and end even better. Entertain and Educate. Process is Queen.
Influencing others is an essential life skill. Honesty is vital.Influence underpins communication, selling, presenting and negotiating. Become a student of Influence. Make sure the foundation is based on solid values like integrity and compassion. Tell the truth as you know it and assume that others are doing the same. If you have doubts, ask questions. Ignorance can be a strength if not hidden. People may be drawn to help if you own your ignorance.
Finally, become an observer of subtle influence. Watch closely especially the eyes. The pupil opens wider for interest and closes quickly for confusion. It also shuts down for cognitive fatigue. Just ask someone to add several double figure numbers in their head.
Contact me if you want help with improving your Influencing Skills – subtle or obvious.