How to Influence People: Our Three-Step Process
Do you want to know how to influence people? Here’s a simple, yet essential, three-step process (AIM) that underpins Pinnacle’s methodology.Do these three steps sequentially when communicating a message to others:
Analyze your audience
Identify your objective and how you want them to feel about your message
Modify your delivery to achieve that result
When we communicate, we want something as a result – buy the car, clean your room, follow the safety rules, etc. The clearer the we AIM our message, the easier it will be to hit the metaphorical bullseye (your message’s objective) and get what you want.
Listen to this Forbes Coaches Council Podcast for more:
Analyze your audience
Analyzing your audience is the first step in learning how to influence people. No matter what message you are delivering, you must understand who you are speaking with so you can articulate the benefit you can provide them. For the sake of simplicity, here are the three most important factors for analyzing an audience:
Identify your audience’s age, marital status, gender, education level, occupation, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic background.
Identify your audience’s attitudes, beliefs, values, loyalties, preconceived notions, and existing feelings. How much do they know about the topic or information you will present?
Identify group size, when you are presenting, the occasion, the length of the event, the size of the room, and the seating arrangement for your audience. Each affects how you deliver your information. For example, audience engagement and energy levels are different in the morning versus the end of the workday.
Identify your objective
Now that you understand your audience, figure out your objective. This is the second step in how to influence people. As a communicator, you must have a specific objective in mind—something you need to accomplish—if you hope to impact and move your audience.
Before delivering any message, you must understand what you want your audience to feel and subsequently to do after hearing your message. Do you want buy-in from the other party, or commitment for more funding, or additional personnel? Is it a signature on a contract or the adoption of a new policy? That is your objective.
When pursuing your objective, ask yourself the same three questions:
What do I want?
What is in the way of what I want?
How am I going to get what I want?
Modify your delivery to achieve your objective
For any communicator, the pairing of an objective with an active intention – a strong one word verb – will inform all aspects of one’s delivery, enabling them to communicate with credibility and confidence. Selecting a strong intention is the third step for how to influence people.
Let the chosen intention guide you to the bullseye of your message—whether interviewing for a job, leading a meeting, or providing feedback to a team member. Intention involves using specific and intentional tactics to pursue your objective.
As a communicator moves from one intention to the next, noticeable changes should take place in eye contact, facial expressions, voice, and body language to help signify and communicate that change to the audience. The changes and adjustments you make in your delivery are a direct result of the intentions you are using at any given moment. It is these intentions that will ensure the words and delivery match the message and help you achieve the desired result you seek with your audience.
Whether defining your personal brand, running a meeting, or building a relationship with someone you have just met, understanding how to influence people using this simple three-step process and using intention in the pursuit of a specific objective will improve your ability to engage and influence others in profound and noticeable ways.
If you’re interested in learning how to influence people using Pinnacle’s methodology, please contact us.