Yes, politicians. Since persuasion is central to political success.
Therefore, in my opinion, the biggest lesson in persuasion comes from politics. The politicians.
So, if you are looking to persuade ANYONE, you will have to follow political campaigns. What is being said, how, why, in what context, etc.?
And as you will begin the process, you will realize this.
Good politicians are great storytellers.
They tell stories to shape public opinion.
During elections, scandals, or natural disasters.
Nothing ever reaches the public without being weighed on.
Each word counts, and is carefully placed to convey a certain thought.
In fact, words and phrases are poll-tested before they are communicated.
Does this shock you?
Then, know this.
Politics is about influence and persuasion, not authority and expertise.
As is personal branding and professional development.
Your employers, clients, and customers choose you, your services, and your products based on:
- What they see (think of) you as (Positioning and messaging)
- How aware they are about you and your work (Marketing/networking and outreach)
- Whether you have cheerleaders or not (References and testimonials)
If you fall short in either of these areas, it becomes extremely difficult to convince your audience that you deserve a chance.
So, here I’m going to let you in on the mechanics behind all this (as our political leaders use it), so that you are better equipped to build your brand and profession.
Before reading these, please be aware that some of the myths might be debunked. All this can be counter-intuitive. So, brace yourself.
Number 1 : Your image is beyond logos and other shenanigans. It is actually your word and deed. It is your message that comes out and forms an impression. So, what you say and how you present is everything.
Number 2 : Your credibility depends on your audience’s perception. It has nothing to do with your expertise and experience. Therefore, come out of your comfort zone of skills and expertise and pay heed to how you’ll be perceived.
Number 3 : Imagination influences perception. A study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that “our imagination may affect how we experience the world more than we perhaps think. What we imagine hearing or seeing in our head can change our actual perception.”
Number 4 : Perception leads to interest. As a result, they want to know more. About you and your work. That’s when they call you in for interviews. And interact online. So really, your work doesn’t create interest, the perception about you does.
Number 5 : Reputation is shaped as a result of image, perceptions, and experiences. You can’t bypass any of these and aim for reputation right away. Reputation is built, not bought. Over the years. By consistently creating compelling interactions and experiences.
I hope so.