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Winning Your Audience Over: The Keys to an Influencing Pitch

One of the most difficult things a presenter does is instill certain beliefs or convince the audience that their product or service is the best choice.

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Apart from this, whether you hire PowerPoint presentation design services or create it yourself, you have to make sure that whatever shows up on the screen coincides with what you’re saying. Flow is important, as it contributes to how easy it will be to understand your pitch.

Winning the audience over may not be an easy feat, but it is, however, doable. Here are factors that make an influencing pitch:

Give & Take: Reciprocity

When you are pitching a fresh idea to an investor, provide a sample because not only would this make your presentation more memorable, but it will also help them understand your pitch better. In a way, it instills a sense of indebtedness, increasing their chances of complying to your request.

Reciprocity is useful in the world of sales, as this helps establish trust between you and your prospects.

What the Public Says: Social Proof

What makes you decide whether to watch a movie or not? Or if you should try the new restaurant in town? Usually, people take to Google and search for reviews before they try something new.

Most of the time, these influence decision-making and this is proof you should use social media to win your audience over.

Testimonials from previous clients give you an edge, as these showcase unique experiences provided by your product. In a way, these help your clients make informed decisions.

The 3 Cs: Commitment, Consistency & Credibility

The hardest part during a sales pitch is getting your audience to say yes. Gaining their approval contributes to the success or failure of your presentation, which is where learning the art of persuasion comes in handy.

Once you get your audience to comply with small requests, it will be easier for you to make larger requests, as they will be more likely to be receptive of these. Given that these are similar in nature to the original inquiry.

This was proven in a study conducted in the 1980s, where the “foot-in-the-door” technique was used. Martin Sherman called residents in Indiana and inquired about hypothetically volunteering and spending three hours collecting for the American Cancer Society. His associates called the same people three days later and actually requested help for the ACS. Thirty-one percent of those who responded to the earlier request agreed to help and this number is much higher than the 4% of people who volunteered when approached directly.

Your confidence and the trustworthiness of the content you are presenting invoke authority, reflecting your expertise on the subject, hence, making you credible. This convinces the audience that you are the right person to discuss a certain topic.

Moving forward, your custom PowerPoint presentation should coincide with your speech and vice versa. Not only do these factors apply to your speech, but these should also resonate with your visual aid, that way, your audience will be able to follow the discussion with their eyes and ears.

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Swanson, Elizabeth; Sherman, Martin & Sherman, Nancy. “Anxiety and the Foot-in-the-Door Technique.” The Journal of Social Psychology. June 30, 2010.

McLeod, Saul. “The Psychology of Compliance.” SimplyPsychology. 2014.


Dynamism of Ethos: Audience Perception in Presentations

As we’ve discussed previously, Ethos is an important pillar of classical rhetoric that focuses on an audience’s perception of a speaker.

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Just like presentations, it can be described as dynamic in nature or a perceived phenomenon. A crowd’s perception is subject to change, even within the confines of one discussion.

Let’s talk about these stages in the chronological order of your credibility’s perception.

Initial Credibility

Your listeners will always have their own idea of who you are based on what they see of you– even before you begin your speech.

Without much to base their opinion on, they’ll use your reputation and credentials as a foundation to judge your speaking competence. They may be in the dark about your personal details and qualifications, but they can still form initial impressions on your credibility.

This can be affected by how you are introduced, how you dress up, how you carry yourself, and how you make use of body language techniques.

An introduction that plays up your achievements and credentials can give a boost to your Ethos.

Similarly, how you dress up and take the stage shows how well-versed you are in social norms and communication practices. If ever you blunder through your start, don’t worry. You still have the next part to get back into your groove.

Transactional Credibility

As you get into the meat of your speech, your audience molds their ideas of you based on how you do as a speaker.

Even subconsciously, they can continuously form additional assessments or modifications of their initial impressions. This can give you a second chance, in case you had fumbled your initial impression.

If you started with a high level of credibility, you’ll lose a lot of it if you come ill-prepared. In turn, a disappointed crowd may feel misled and promptly tune themselves out.

If you had started with a low level of credibility, then this is your opportunity to make up for it with a well-planned and executed presentation.

Being aware of verbal and non-verbal ways give you an edge when changing or improving your listeners’ perception. Staying composed will let you use these techniques when it matters most.

Terminal Credibility

How your audience views your aptitude and mastery as a speaker is the terminal credibility.

Have you experienced being pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoyed a conversation with someone you had previously doubted?

This is how it feels when your opinion of that person zooms from the extreme lows to the extreme highs. Your presentation’s beginning is useless if you don’t end it on a high note. A strong ending makes your message more reliable and improves your initial credibility for your next speaking opportunity.

If you keep this going, you’ll build a reputation to keep audiences hanging on to every word you say.


Knowing the dynamism of Ethos ensures that you can maintain a natural course of improvement towards being a better speaker– whether in the short term or in the long term.

Need a presentation deck to match your speech? Check out our portfolio for inspiration, or contact our slide design experts for a consultation with a free quote.


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Speaker Credibility.” Changing Minds. Accessed July 10, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 10, 2015.


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