I just finished reading Adam Grant’s brilliant new book, “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” (get it here).
There are some exceptionally powerful insights for any communicator.
Here are my highlights:
1. Quantity predicts Quality
If you’re preparing for a presentation, do a brainstorm and gather a large variety of ideas. The more ideas you generate, the higher the quality of your final work.
2. Intuitive decision makers are swayed by the speaker’s delivery
3. Be subtle when using persuasion tactics
4. Admit to your idea’s drawbacks
5… But only the obvious ones
6. The Mechanism: Ease of Retrieval
When we highlight the obvious weaknesses in our idea, it becomes much harder for the audience to come up with more weaknesses, making your idea seem stronger. However, if you don’t highlight the obvious weaknesses, the ease of retrieval for holes in your idea is (well) easier…making your idea seem weaker.
7. People like ideas they are frequently exposed to
The more often a person is exposed to something, the more they like it (the mere exposure effect). To increase the chances of your idea being accepted, find ways of bringing up the idea before the big presentation day.
8. People are most persuadable by people who started out negative about the idea and then became positive
9. Metaphors and linking your idea to already known concepts makes your presentation more persuasive
10. Persuade people by positioning your product as a means to advance what’s important to them
11. Appeal to people’s identities
12. Deal with public speaking anxiety by getting excited rather than calming down
13. Saying you’re anxious makes you anxious
14. Bring in a customer / beneficiary to share their story with your target
15. Urgency is the key: Why Now?
16. If what you are proposing is risky, present the status quo as a guaranteed loss (fear-based pitching)
17. Present the problem with the status quo before you present the solution
18. When presenting, show your passion not through surface-level acting but through deep acting (actually changing how you feel)