The 3 Essential Elements of a Persuasive Presentation

The 3 Essential Elements of a Persuasive Presentation

Social media channels may be proving popular but as any Presidential candidate will tell you, there’s nothing quite like getting out there and meeting your public.

Love it or loathe it, there’s no question that speaking at seminars and conferences is a great way of drumming up new business.

Where else do you get the chance to do your thing in front of a room full of engaged prospects?

However, speaking at conferences and seminars isn’t cheap. Paying for your slot is now the norm. Not to mention the time and resource that goes into producing the perfect presentation.

So it’s important that you make a real impact and get a return on your investment.

Become a Master of Persuasion and Influence

As the old saying goes, ‘people buy people first’. So, before your audience can buy into what you say, they must first buy into you.

There are a million different tips and tricks for creating a dazzling presentation but they’re all redundant unless you can master the three cornerstones of persuasion and influence; Conviction, Congruence and Connection.

When you employ these elements you exert an irresistible emotional force on your audience that will have them hanging on your every word.


Buyers know they can’t get ironclad guarantees that something will work but they do want the next best thing; the certainty they’re backing the right horse.

After all they put a great deal on the line when choosing you as their supplier – their reputation and the respect of colleagues; their job and by extension their lifestyle and the security of their family’s future.

Their conviction will feed off of yours and the result will be belief. 

If you’re not convinced in what you’re saying, no one will be.

The problem isn’t usually a lack of conviction in what you do but when it comes to public speaking your natural ability to be convincing can easily be undermined by the fear of getting up in front of a room full of strangers.

Two common fears that affect people the most are:

  1. Your audience will find you boring
  2. What you have to say isn’t valuable

The quickest and easiest way to overcome both of these fears in one shot is to find someone that represents your target audience and do your talk for them.

The practise is good for your confidence anyway but getting good feedback that your presentation offers real value will give an unbelievable boost to your conviction.

But there’s more to it than that. Real conviction breeds courage.

When you have the courage of your convictions, you don’t need to try too hard to sell what you’re saying. Your audience will sell themselves.


Congruence is a very desirable side effect of conviction.

You achieve congruence when the power of your beliefs is reflected in the way you speak and act. The greater your belief, the more you will exude a confidence that is infectious.

The opposite is also true. If you have doubts about what you’re saying, your audience will see it. There are all kinds of verbal and non-verbal cues that will give you away.

Eye contact is a vital element of congruent behaviour. It’s never easy to trust someone who can’t maintain eye contact with you.

If you struggle to make eye contact with people, try practising in the mirror. It may feel strange at first but once you can maintain eye contact with yourself, it will be a breeze to do so with other people.

Too much movement can also affect your congruence. Movement is good when speaking to an audience because it gives you the opportunity to connect with everyone in the room.

Move around too much and you’re in danger of displaying nervous behaviour. A simple rule for this is that you can move during pauses but as soon as you address your audience stand still and engage with them directly.

You will never see a comedian moving while telling a joke unless you’re Lee Evans and then it’s an essential part of the act.


Conviction and congruence are key for gaining credibility with your audience but unless you can develop a connection with them, you won’t leave a lasting impression.

Your personal story can prove very powerful for generating a strong connection.

We all like people who are like us. It’s why we join clubs from a very early age. We simply get on better with people who have similar interests or who are from similar backgrounds.

When you tell your story it’s like holding a mirror up to your audience so that they can see themselves reflected back. Talk about who you are, what you believe and what led you to do what you are doing now.

Help them see that you understand what they’re going through and give them the hope that you have the skills to help them get to where they want to be.

Learn from the Masters

Hollywood script writers understand the power of conviction, congruence and connection and employ them regularly.

Whether it’s William Wallace in Braveheart, Aragorn in Lord of the Rings or Maximus in Gladiator they all get their power from their conviction, congruency and ability to build a connection with their audience.

Watch the scenes, just before battle, where they address their armies;

Notice the conviction they have in their cause.

Look at how that conviction is congruent with their actions and the way they speak.

See how they build a strong connection with everyone present by helping them to realise that they are just the same as them.

Sure they’re just movies, but these scenes and the speeches that drive them are so powerful that even though you know you’re watching a film, you can’t help but be swept away by the emotion of it all.

In these days of uncertainty your prospects are looking for leadership. They want a partner who they feel has their best interests at heart and can deliver them into a place of freedom and financial independence.

When you give them the confidence that you can do this, they will follow you through hell and high water.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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