Looking after and influencing your workforce no matter the size of your organisation is a challenging task. Gaining employee engagement and commitment to company goals requires a strong ability to influence and persuade to effectively motivate your workforce. Simon de Cintra, presentation coach and author of ‘Unlock Your Business Voice – How to Speak As Well As You Think’ unveils from his professional experience what top five tools you should be utilising to influence your employees.
STEP 1: Be assertive and Unlock your business voice
Make unlocking your business voice your first point of call when influencing. It does not matter who or where you are in your career progression, if your business voice remains locked away, this will most certainly be an impediment to achieving any future success. When delivering a key message that needs to influence remember to prioritse your business voice by slowing down your speech, moderating your voice in terms of volume and tone. Whilst also using shorter sentences packed with the key information and facts, therefore not overloading your audience with lots of unnecessary jargon that may lose your employees’ attention. These strategies will help your message resonate and motivate your workforce to undertake their required subsequent actions to achieve the goal. If you find a strategy that is is not working make sure to stop and try something else!
STEP 2: Do not neglect your conclusion
Hook your audience with a sharp, strong conclusion, this is the time to ensure you have influenced your workforce to the best of your ability. Utilise eye contact to connect with your audience and most importantly do not ramble. A conclusion should quickly summarise what you have said and explain what future actions should be completed. To be successful, CEOs need an unlocked business voice that is both compelling and willing to share ideas, but yet still understand the need to listen to other’s contributions. Therefore give your employees plenty of opportunities to ask questions once you have concluded your message.
STEP 3: Observe successful speakers
Research speakers in your industry and in the media that have nailed the ability to influence their audience, for example Steve Jobs whose passion certainly shone through any presentation he gave. Once you have compiled a list of professionals, observe how they delivered their message and note down any tactics they use that you can apply yourself to your own situation and organisation. The solution to improve the way you influence may also be closer to home with a family member, friend or colleague who may be able to provide great tips for you to follow and as they know you well they may know exactly where you may have been going wrong. This insight could become invaluable to becoming the most influential person in the room.
STEP 4: Only deliver key messages
Do you take the opportunity to sparkle or did you just deliver the main ingredients? You need to seize any available opportunity to influence your staff and add a little sparkle to your delivery. There is no guarantee, despite your best intentions, that the recipient of your message will be affected in the way you would like them to be. External factors have a part to play which we do not have control over. Therefore it is very important you control what you can to increase your confidence and ability to influence. Choosing what to include in your message and omitting any superfluous information will help you influence. Your content will become much more potent and you can exert more influence by saying less, saving crucial time and effort. If there is an absence of clarity in your key message your recipient may fill in the gaps themselves which can leave to confusion and duplication of tasks, both outcomes will be unsatisfactory for both sides.
STEP 5: Keep your personality
Authenticity is key! Focus on what parts of your personality you can use to influence, rather than chasing personality traits that you will never be. You cannot break the mould you are made with, so be aware of your limits, work with them and it will be very good news for you, too. However, there is a high probability that your internal perception of how you come across to others will be biased by your internal filters. Ask your colleagues questions on your personality such as “Do I come across as a good listener?” “Do I excite people with my ideas?” and so on to establish your business personality and ascertain where you could improve or which attributes you could utilise to enhance your ability to influence.