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HETI – Welcome to the birdcage!

(from Michelle Bowden’s keynote for HETI in October 2022)


– We are influencing our family members, friends, clients, patients, colleagues and managers every day of our life.

– Our days and filled with negotiating, finding compromise, updating, advising, selling, influencing and persuading.

– There are 5 main ways we influence the people around us. Two of the approaches are aggressing: forcing and directing; two of the approaches are passive: modelling and guiding. The assertive approach is persuasion. Most people forget that we are actually influencing people all the time, so they treat their communication scenarios like informal conversations and don’t analyse their stakeholder, prepare their message, and they definitely don’t take the time to rehearse. They are likely to ‘wing it’!

– There are four persuasive types: the Wise Owl, the Commanding Eagle, the Friendly Budgie and the Captivating Peacock.

– Wise Owls have an innate drive to persuade through message credibility.

– Commanding Eagles have an innate drive to persuade by establishing personal authority.

– Friendly Budgies have an innate drive to persuade by building goodwill.

– Captivating Peacocks have an innate drive to persuade by arousing enthusiasm and passion.

– Remember you’re not trying to persuade yourself!

– What does your stakeholder need? Give it to them! Flex, flex flex your approach.

– The 5 Step Analysis: topic, goal, purpose, leading statement, Think/Feel/Do is used to work out what you are trying to achieve as well as what your stakeholder needs from you. 

– Expert communicators get into their stakeholder’s shoes and build strong rapport so they can present meaningful, needs based solutions.

– Expert communicators know how to design, persuasive, powerful, memorable messages and as a result, expert communicators hear the word ‘yes’ more often in their life.

– Remember you cannot NOT influence.

– Use rhetorical questions. What is a rhetorical question? It’s a question that you ask and then answer straight away!

– The credibility frame goes like this: ‘in the x years I have worked as an x, in the x, what I have learnt is x (reflect stakeholder pain), and what this means for you is x”

– Use direct connected eye contact – the eye is the window to the soul!

– Remember your emotional objective. What do I want my stakeholder to feel? Make sure I feel it too!

– And the stance – either an asymmetrical stance for the budgies or a symmetrical stance for the eagles!

– Today is the day to make a serious decision to take your communication seriously. Go forth and persuade!


I know you know this, it’s not rocket science, so take the time to plan your meetings in advance, analyse your performance at the conclusion of every meeting and continuously strive to be a power persuader who hears the word ‘yes’ more often!


Want more?

You can buy my new book called How to Persuade: the skills you need to get what you want (Wiley) right here

You can buy the 2nd edition of my best-selling, internationally published  book called How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting live and online (Wiley) right here

Please connect to me on LinkedIn.

© Michelle Bowden 2022.  Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media.

"Michelle's ‘Welcome to the Birdcage’ presentation was fabulous! It was great to learn about the persuasive types and the actions we can embed to make ourselves instantly more persuasive. We are looking forward to applying our new techniques and seeing the impact immediately! Highly recommended!"
Maria Berarducci
Senior Manager Rural, Remote and Allied Health Professional Practice and Inter professional Collaboration (PPIC) Health Education & Training Institute
"It was a lot of fun learning about my persuasive type during Michelle’s ‘Welcome to the Birdcage’ presentation. Michelle showed me how to adapt my communication style and taught me persuasive techniques that actually work!"
Daniella Pfeiffer
A/Senior Program Manager Rural, Remote & Allied Health, PPIC, HETI

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