Applying the Art of Persuasion to Your Business PowerPoint Presentation

Election season has us contemplating the art of persuasion. As politicians and their parties attempt to influence voters with all kinds of presentations, the ballot box is where we see the tangible result of those that are successfully persuasive.

Similar techniques can be applied to business PowerPoint presentations. Let’s look at what they are and how to apply them.

For thousands of years the art of persuasion has been studied and written about. In Rhetoric, Greek philosopher Aristotle set out his five elements of persuasive communication. These devices are still used today by some of the best – and most persuasive – presenters of our time.

First, there’s ethos or character. Showing your audience your character, or guiding beliefs or ideals, enables them to get to know you. This is helpful for establishing trust between you and your audience. You might demonstrate ethos with a personal anecdote or story. Sharing something about yourself or the thought process behind what you’re presenting demonstrates your humanity and makes you more relatable.

Second is logos or reason. This is the part when you outline your thinking behind your ideas. You want to convince your audience that your way of thinking is the right way. You can do this by showing off your well-researched data with some show-stopping visuals. More on this below.

Third is pathos or emotion. This is a powerful and necessary part of any professional PowerPoint presentation. Creating an emotional connection with your audience helps them relate to you and your key messages. Again, storytelling is a good way to elicit an emotional response from your audience. But you can also steer an audience’s emotional response through use of compelling images, color, font and more.

Fourth is metaphor. Using a metaphor gives your audience a mental picture of what you’re talking about. It can help clarify your ideas for them and help them remember your message better. Using strong visuals on your slides is a key ingredient here.

Fifth is brevity. If you want to be persuasive, make sure you only give your audience the information they absolutely need. There is a finite amount of information that the human brain can process at one time. So, it’s important not to overwhelm your audience – stick with your key message and visuals that are carefully crafted to help them remember it.

While anyone can put forward an argument, to truly persuade another requires the application of Aristotle’s principles, reinforced with well-designed visuals. This formula will enable you to deliver high impact PowerPoint presentations that will stick with your audience long after they leave the meeting room or Zoom call. If you think your slides need a persuasion power-up just let us know.

Beyond what Aristotle recommends, eSlide has a few more ways to increase your presentation’s persuasiveness:

Get Acquainted with Your Audience

Understanding who your audience is, their concerns, wants, and needs is key. Once you know what drives them, you are better equipped to create effective visual elements that will help persuade them.

Show, Don’t Tell

Visuals have more impact than words and are more likely to help your audience remember. So, when possible, it’s always better to use a compelling graphic, powerful photograph or some other visual representation of your ideas rather than words alone. With the right visuals, you can show your audience the future you want them to see.

Use Repetition

Our daily lives are inundated with information, so it’s easy for new messages to get lost. People often need to see and hear a message several times before the information sticks. Repeating key graphics or imagery throughout your business PowerPoint presentation will help seal the information in their minds.

Create Show-Stopping Visuals

If you’re going to persuade your audience, you’re going to need show-stopping visuals in your presentation. Anything less will damage your credibility, and this is especially true if you’re going to repeat any graphic elements throughout your slides. You don’t want to repeat anything that wasn’t good enough the first time.

eSlide excels at creating persuasive presentations that get results. Whether you need one critical slide, a template redesign, a complete transformation or any combination of these, we can help. Get in touch today to learn how to apply the art of persuasion to your next high-stakes PowerPoint presentation.

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