Influence is a word we often associate with people of power. We often imagine corporate leaders of large Fortune 500 companies and politicians crafting messages where one gesture, one phrase or a speech can influence a company, a nation or the world. But what truly is influence and why is it we always seem to associate this with people of great power?
When you think about the center or essence or what makes a person influential, it comes down to the ability to communicate ones thoughts to another person and convince that person to think in the same way.
Young Children. We begin to do this as young children. We often ask our mothers and fathers to buy us a toy or feed us when we’re hungry or take us on that trip to the amusement park. The power lies in the ability to craft words that will make the listener see your point of view and adopt it as their own. This power comes from touching both the heart and the mind.
Knowing that our parents will want to please us, we tug at their heartstrings, begging and pleading sometimes, because if they really cared for us, they would do what we want them to do. That’s where communicating to reach the heart is something we learn from a very young age. This is done through storytelling and describing thoughts and feelings through the spoken word. How often have you heard a parent ask their child to write a memo or create a Powerpoint presentation regarding why they want a puppy?
Ideas on Paper. As we age, however, we become rewarded for how well we think and present ideas on paper. When we can string logical sentences together to prove a point, that is when we will reach the mind. We are trained to do this as we get older as we are asked to provide reports to teachers, office managers and politicians when we desire something to change. “Please put it in writing.” is often the answer. As we age, and as we get more accustomed to the digital world, we also tend to write as much as we can in an email to try to influence the other person to our point of view, when in reality, this is not going to reach the heart of the person. We still focus too much on the mind.
Build a Story. So what can we do to reach people hearts? Practice more non-visual communication. Instead of writing an email, sending a text or building a Powerpoint slide, build a story with your audience through your voice. If it’s a one-on-one conversation do that over the phone or face-to-face. Work toward conveying a story just through what and how you say something and see how different your audience will react when you touch their hearts.
How About You? Are you able to win over hearts and minds as you share your ideas and presentations? Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts.
You will see Naomi Takeuchi picture featured on the cover of the book.
Naomi will be signing copies of the book in the upcoming weeks at these featured events.
- – NAAAP-Toronto Leadership Forum Workshop, “Leadership Behind the Title” Toronto, ON – Sunday, Sept. 15th, 9:00am-12:00pm
- – Morning Keynote “Leadership Behind the Title”, 2nd Annual Women’s Conference, Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC – Saturday, Sept. 21st, – 9:15am to 10:00am
– “Make it a Great Speech Event” with Ryan Avery 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, Embassy Suites, Cary, NC – Tuesday, Sept. 24th 6:00pm-9:00pm