If you are starting a business or selling a product, sometimes it takes a little manipulation to get people on board with your message. I know, manipulation sounds like a harsh word, but this presentation trick is used to persuade an audience in most sales and marketing strategies. These methods are used so often, many do not notice it. But Psychology Today points out that there are 3 simple actions people do that are super persuasive. Here’s what they are and how you can use them for your presentation.

Presentation Trick: Persuade Your Audience

Presentation Trick

False Dilemma

Psychology Today explains this approach as “reducing your choices and all the possibilities in our multidimensional world to only two alternatives: either/or, all or nothing, right or wrong.” This type of comparison is made in presentations all the time. While the intention is not to limit an audience’s worldview to two options, this presentation trick works to raise the tension in the message.

Example: Everyday, thousands of plastic bottles are thrown in the trash instead of a recycling bin. This hastily action is causing more production of plastic, which is harming our environment. If you really cared about the planet, you would fund my organization which is dedicated to promoting recycling across the country.

Cause and Effect

This form of manipulation is of the superstitious nature. It’s the notion of a lucky charm. When an athlete scores several goals wearing a particular pair of shoes, they will buy into the idea that these shoes are lucky and believe that they must wear them every time to win the game.

Example: I have the secret to living a healthy life. Each morning, I drink a protein shake made with my original recipe I call “Formula H2O”. I have tested out almost every protein powder out there, and it wasn’t until I developed my own that I discovered the secret. I have never look fitter, slept better, eaten healthier and lived my life to the fullest until now. This is your opportunity to change your life, and you can only do it with “Formula H2O.”

Red Herring

The red herring is defined as, “an intentional diversion from the matter at hand, intended to throw you off topic.” We see this happen on news programs every day. It’s a way for a speaker to avoid answering a question or discussing a topic that may damage their public image.

Example: You may ask me how did I get some many sponsors early on in my business. I will tell you one thing. Nobody has more sponsors than my competition. That’s because their business is founded on the money earned in a trust fund from their wealthy parents. If you want to invest in a company that is working for the little man, invest in me.

Be cautious when using this presentation trick too often. A smart audience will catch wind that you are purposefully trying to mess with their thought process. It’s best to use only one method one time in a presentation so that it’s subtle. Then let the message of your business or product provide the rest of the motivation your audience needs to support your endeavor.

Related posts from the Ethos3 blog:

Lying in Presentations: How to Respond When the Audience Calls You Out

Why Audience Members Need to Have an Open Mind

How Framing Enhances Your Presentation Message


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