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How to Communicate with Influence

by Christina Whitaker

Some of the world's greatest leaders have been recognized as great orators, and with good reason -- they have the ability to influence others through spoken word. Whether you are seeking to communicate with a large audience, co-worker, friend, family member or associate, you can take steps to influence others. When communicating with others, you should create a clear message and purpose. Additionally, evaluate your audience or interpersonal communication with another individual to tailor your communication to the proper occasion.

Establish the purpose of your communication. If communicating with an audience, perhaps you want to mobilize community members around a particular issue. Alternately, you may want to influence a co-worker, significant other or friend to see a matter as you do. No matter what the topic, establish a broad goal you would like to meet with your communication. Doing so may allow you to reach a mutual agreement on a particular issue, even if others do not do exactly as you please.

Develop a clear message. Though you may discuss multiple topics, you must develop a single, clear message. Avoid convoluted or complex messages because others need to be able to follow your message easily. A clear message could be something like "spending more time together is important to our relationship," "reducing waste is the key to a healthy planet" or "exercise is important to a long life."

Gather your facts. Influencing others relies on your ability to convince them that what you are saying is relevant and truthful. So gather facts you can incorporate into your communication that support your message. If trying to influence co-workers to adopt a particular office protocol, for example, present statistics on the benefits of a new process. On the other hand, you could present facts on couples who stay together longer when they attend church together if trying to influence a mate to go to church every Sunday.

Note the other person's or audience's age, social status and general interests. If you are speaking to a young person or audience, for example, you will need to communicate differently than you would to older people. Use your evaluation as a guideline for forming your communication.

Draft your communication on paper based on your purpose, message and evaluation of the other person or audience. Ensure that each point you make during your communication supports your purpose and relates to your overall message. For example, if you are communicating the importance of eating healthy, state facts that support why healthy eating is important.

Incorporate items to which others can relate in your communication. If you are speaking to a group of 21-year-olds from Miami, for example, use a joke that relates to the party-goers and beachcombers. Or if you are communicating within a personal or professional relationship, determine an experience or story you can share that would be relatable for the other person. Finding ways to relate to others will help your communication be significantly more influential.

About the Author

Christina Whitaker began her writing career in 2005 in newspaper journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA and a law degree. Her legal experience includes work in Federal Court, and civil and criminal litigation. She also maintains a blog on social, pop-culture and cultural matters.

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