The Secrets To Presenting Persuasively in Business

(from Michelle Bowden’s keynote for Aboriginal Environmental Health Unit July 2019)

We persuade and influence our family members, friends, clients, colleagues and managers every day of our life. Our days and filled with negotiating, finding compromise, updating, advising, selling, influencing and persuading.

  1. 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 audience, prepare their message, and they definitely don’t take the time to rehearse. They are likely to ‘wing it’!
  2. Remember you cannot not influence.  People will form an opinion about you and your message regardless of whether you want them to or not.
  3. Expert communicators analyse their stakeholder, prepare their messages and even rehearse the delivery so they increase their chances of success.
  4. 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.
  5. There are 3 phases to a persuasive presenting in business: Analysis; Design; Delivery.
  6. Without some thorough analysis it’s possible you won’t be clear about what you really want to achieve.
  7. Without some thorough analysis it’s possible that you won’t get into the shoes of your stakeholder and really understand where you are shifting them from and to, and this might mean you are an ineffective communicator.
  8. “It’s not about me, it’s all about the audience”. It’s not about what you want to say or the way you want to say it, it’s not about how you want to stand, sit or move your body, and it’s definitely not about the PowerPoint slides you want to show. It’s all about your stakeholder and what they need to hear from you in order to understand your message and change their behaviour accordingly. Understand this and you’ll never be ‘nervous’ or lacking confidence as a communicator again.
  9. 4Mat is the model for crafting a message so it sticks in your audience’s mind and they are compelled to take the action you require.
  10. 4Mat addresses the 4 x virtual questions in your audiences’ mind: Why? What? How? What if?/What else?
  11. Storyboarding was designed by Walt Disney and will help you design your presentation in no time.
  12. There are 3 hats when Storyboarding: Dreamer; Realist; Critic.
  13. Remember to call your presentation something meaningful to the audience: give it a sexy title!
  14. Breathe diaphragmatically so you think clearly, relax, and project your voice.
  15. Eye contact will help you better manage your nerves. Really look at people.


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 an expert communicator who masters the craft of persuasive communication.

For more tips on persuading, presenting, and communicating at work go to and subscribe to my FREE magazine called How to Present.

To buy yourself the gift of my internationally published, best selling book called, How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting your ideas and influencing people using techniques that actually work (Wiley) book visit here. 

To complete the PRSI and test your persuasive strengths and weaknesses please click on the following link: