How to be persuasive
Jackie Bavaro

That’s What I Do When I Want to Persuade My Team

I take them on a surfing trip … well, not exactly! :)

Being persuasive is a skill that helps a lot when you are responsible for shaping a product vision or taking product decisions. I read Jackie Bavaro’s post “how to be persuasive” which motivated me to share my “simple” tactic that I always do when I want to persuade my team to implement a certain feature or stop working on another one.

And this simple tactic is: Make a “tiny” presentation to show your idea!

Yes, every time you want to “persuade” your team of anything -literally, anything-, hold a meeting and present a couple of slides!

So, let me “persuade” you, why these “tiny” presentations are so powerful.

1. Tiny Presentations Organize Your Thoughts

A presentation -in general- gives you the opportunity to organize your thoughts in a logical structure, so you can show your team:

  1. A problem supported with statistics & data.
  2. Your solution to this problem.
  3. Why this solution is effective. -You can also highlight other solutions and why they failed to solve this problem-

Organizing your thoughts has a great impact in successfully persuading your team because it positions your ideas as the logical steps to be done.

2. Tiny Presentations Help You Visualize

One of the problems that you face in persuading your team is that you have something in your mind but your teammates are not able to see it as you do.

In your tiny presentation, you can solve this problem by adding photos, screenshots, sketches, prototypes, wireframes, flowcharts, charts, diagrams, videos or any visual element you think of! (1 Picture = 1,000 Words). Also using animations, greatly helps in visualizing your ideas specially when demonstrating “user scenarios or back-end pipelines”.

3. Tiny Presentations Give You “Virtual” Authority

As you probably know, leading a team without having a real authority, is a very challenging task, specially in an open working environment where each member can actively participate in product discussions. Here comes your role to inspire & influence your team in a way that keeps everyone happy!

That’s what I mean by “virtual” authority, your ability to inspire & influence your team to achieve the plan & ship the product, is amplified through an organized data-supported visual presentation.

By reaching here, I assume that I successfully “persuaded” you to use a tiny presentation in your next meeting. ☺

Here are 3 pieces of advice about tiny presentations:

  1. Keep It “Tiny”— It is should be really short in both, number of slides & presenting duration. You should go quickly into your topic and ignore the decorating stuff, like: the “Welcome” slide, the “Agenda” slide, etc…
  2. Keep It Informal — Talk freely, smile and accept questions “any time” during your tiny presentation, there is no “Questions-at-The-End” rule here! Also, it is preferable not to stand up while presenting because you are not actually presenting, you are just showing your ideas in an organized visual way.
  3. Keep It Collaborative — Listen to your team members, discuss their feedback and edit your presentation in “real-time” according to what you agree upon as a team … Yes! edit your presentation in front of them, in the meeting! This gives your team a true feeling of participation/collaboration and shows that you respect their opinions.

And that’s what I do when I want to persuade my team.☺

What do you think about this approach? Do you have any other ideas? Feel free to share your thoughts!☺

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Thank you for reading! ☺

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