As we've discussed in earlier lectures, most people give way too much data way too many facts, messages, talking points, when they are trying to persuade somebody in the workplace. My recommendation is get stare at that one sentence of what you're trying to get people to do. And then before you write out a PowerPoint, slide deck or whole speech or alone memo, just sit back, get comfortable, put your feet on the desk, if that works for you, and brainstorm on every possible message you have, that could in fact, motivate the person you're speaking to, to do what you want, you're looking at it through that screen. Not every single interesting fact, obviously, not the process. Obviously, you're trying to isolate messages that will in fact, motivate your person you're speaking to to do what you want to persuade them to do. What you want, and you may come up with 50 hundred 200 messages, don't limit it.
But here's the catch. I want you to narrow your messages down to your top five. Why do I say that? I work with business executives, United Nations officials, government officials in their workplaces all over the world. And I always ask them, when someone's giving you some pitch or presentation trying to persuade you on something. Think of the best speaker you've seen in your office, in your industry at a convention in the last year, last five years, maybe ever.
Now. Don't tell me what you liked about their presentation that they were funny or they moved around. I don't care about that. I want to know, what do you actually remember about their presentation, their talk? The way they tried to persuade you What do you remember? The actual messages the substance?
On all the years I've asked people that quite often the responses well teach everybody in our field is boring. I don't remember anything. Sometimes it's one message. Occasionally it's two, sometimes three messages. Every three, four months, someone will say, Oh, yeah, TJ there was this fantastic speaker at our annual convention who persuaded us and then they'll tell me maybe four points. every six months or so, I'll have someone that says yes, TJ remember the best speaker I've ever seen in my life.
And they remembered five points. Now, I've asked more than 10,000 people that question over the last 30 years I've never yet had anyone remember more than five key messages, five key ideas from any presentation in the workplace, from any sales pitch or any other form of a pitch. So that's why I say to you narrow it down, less is more. You've heard that cliche. Again, some cliches are true, we don't like to follow it, but it is true. So if you want to be persuasive, a lot of it has nothing to do with a silver tongue or a nice smile on your face or whether you get someone free tickets to the professional sporting event.
Those things might help but so much, what will really determine whether you are successful when you persuade is just you have the willingness and ability to sit back maybe close your eyes. Really think and really narrow down to your top five messages. Of course they should be important messages to you. But if they're not important messages, relevant interesting messages to them. The person you're speaking to get rid of it, throw it in the trash can. Maybe you come up with 10 messages that are important to you that you think might motivate the person you're speaking to.
That's still too much. You've got to put them in priority. From least important, two most important and then get rid of anything that doesn't make your top five