When you speak, you have to bring more to your listeners than a charming personality and the latest in clothing fashion. You have to bring ideas. Ideas that enrich your listeners. The big surprise here is that—unless you are Albert Einstein or Bill Gates talking about something you know better than anybody else—your listeners are not really interested in your ideas. They are interested in the ideas you have gathered from others and are bringing to enrich them.
This is especially true in your efforts to persuade others. Listeners are enriched when you make supportable claims. Suppose you claim, "Our health care system is broken; universal health care will fix it." Have you enriched your listeners? Not really. You have merely expressed an opinion. You haven't improved your listeners' understanding of the issues or opened their eyes to new and helpful ways of viewing the world.
Contrast that with the following approach. "Our health care system is broken; universal health care will fix it. According to Dr. Patrick Whelan, M.D., and member of the Democratic National Committee's Faith Advisory Council, a 2002 Institutes of Medicine study concluded that health coverage for every citizen would mean fewer child deaths from asthma, fewer cancer deaths in minority communities, and fewer veterans who depend on emergency rooms for their primary care. You can read Dr. Whelan's entire statement at ourfamilydoctormag.com."
Now you have enriched your listeners. You brought with you to the podium the views of an eminent physician and you shared those. It's up to the listeners to decide what to do with the information. You have done your job.
Your greatest allies in persuasion are the words According to . . . . The persuasion one-two punch is: 1) make a powerful claim, and 2) provide support that the listeners cannot lightly dismiss. Claim-According to . . . . Claim-According to . . . Claim-According to . . . Get in that rhythm and you will find people flocking to your point of view. After all, t