Chances are, you’ve been brought up to value altruistic behavior. This might have even turned you into the successful person you are now (or hopefully, will become). It may also have highly positive ramifications for your sales presentation skills.
First, let’s define our word of the day.
Altruism is a desire to help other people. Characterized by a lack of selfishness, anthropologists claim that civilized societies came about because altruism incentivizes cooperation. It is unfortunately not a universal trait, with several difficulties preventing people from practicing self-sacrifice for the greater good. The frequent barriers to showing selflessness include laziness, compounded by a feeling that the benefits are minimal.
Showing concern for others inspires other people to care for your welfare in kind. Here are specific ways that altruism can improve your speaking skills for your next sales presentation:
Altruism Makes You Relatable
Audiences are more likely to listen to speakers they relate with. Showing them that you care for their well-being promotes social connection. According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.”
You can increase their involvement by using words that convey a collaborative theme in your presentation. You want to say sentences such as: “We want to start a partnership where we both profit greatly through cooperation.” or “This proposal hopes to begin a mutually beneficial partnership that yields income for all parties.”
Tell your audience that what benefits you, which, in turn, benefits everyone.
Altruism Makes You Happier
Neuroscientist Emiliana Simon-Thomas cites a report that shows how altruism has positive effects on an individual’s health and happiness. This doesn’t mean that people only feel good because they think they’re supposed to. In fact, the effects of unselfish acts are reflected in neural studies on the brain.
These studies have also shown that charitable actions activate the same areas of the brain that are related to receiving gifts. It’s clear that doing good does good for you, too.
As opposed to egoists, who think more selfishly, altruists put the wellbeing of others before their own. Projecting this positive aura has the added benefit of putting people in a good mood. Related to our earlier point, this also makes it more likely for them to pay attention.
Altruism is Contagious
In addition to how selflessness can make you happier, it also triggers an area of your brain linked with the processing of moral behavior. This rewards your brain, making it more likely that practicing altruism will feel good in the future.
This creates a positive feedback loop (or as Sonja Lyubomirsky puts it, “a cascade of positive social consequences”) which hopefully leaves an impression on your listeners to inspire them as speakers. Being good to others makes them try to be better towards everyone else.
Altruism is a key trait that has helped our ancestors survive the harshest conditions – enduring the hardest challenges through greater cooperation. It takes a little step to show the smallest amount of care for the welfare of others. The benefits could snowball into something greater – to the benefit of you and your pitch.
Unsurprisingly, being kind to your fellow human beings is unambiguously good for humanity. Being kind to others makes you appear more relatable, which makes your audience reach out to you more. Doing good deeds doesn’t only make other people happier – it also makes you, yourself, feel better.
Even better, doing good for one person will cause a chain reaction, wherein people will pass the good deed on to other people. This is especially advantageous for you if you started it, as people will be able to trace the initial seed of goodwill back to you.
What’s good for humanity is also good for your sales presentation skills.
Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “Happiness for a Lifetime.” Greater Good. July 15, 2010. Accessed August 20, 2015.
Simon-Thomson, Emiliana R. “Is Kindness Really Its Own Reward?” Greater Good. June 1, 2008. Accessed August 20, 2015.
“Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed August 20, 2015.