Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about building confidence, persuasion and influence at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.
Full Video Transcript:
Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about persuasion and influence, and look: It all boils down to confident alpha behaviors. And we see these behaviors in the human world; we also see it in the animal kingdom. It’s really the same thing. If you see a herd of animals or a pack of animals or whatever, a herd of seals for example, there’s always going to be that one alpha seal that essentially dominates the entire pack.
The same types of behaviors are here on the human side of the world as well, and if you have those alpha confident behaviors you end up having way more influence and persuasion with others. This is not complicated stuff. People break down persuasion and influence and have all these long models of different steps that you can take or different tricks that you can try and use to have higher levels of persuasion or influence with people around you, but the reality is what you really need to be building is alpha confident behaviors. So we’re going to talk about in this video exactly what are those types of behaviors and I’ve got a bunch of different examples, and hopefully you’ll get a feel for the sorts of things that are going to end up making you more influential and more persuasive with the audiences that you’re in front of in your life.
So here’s the thing: People don’t know why they like you or why they don’t like you, or why they respect you or why they don’t respect you. People respond to very subtle subcommunications, and they respond to them in an incredibly reliable way but they don’t even realize themselves that they’re doing it. Let me give you an example. Guess what happens when you’re excited. A whole bunch of things physiologically happen to you when you’re excited. Your pupils dilate. You end up being more animated with your hands than you normally are. You speak louder. You speak at a higher pitch. You become more flush. All these sorts of things happen naturally as an automatic reaction when you’re excited.
So people respond to all those things. Only 7% of communication are the words that come out of your mouth. Thirty-eight percent is the tonality of your words. So in other words, talking higher pitch or lower pitch, louder, softer, those sorts of variances – people infer an enormous amount of meaning out of that tonality. And 55% are the facial expressions that you use on your face, and body language as well is another aspect to that, but facial expressions is a huge contributor. Even babies at like a few days old can already distinguish between a smiling face and a frowning face, and at 7 months they see the expression on your face and they use your expression as a social cue for how they should be behaving. At 7 months they already do that.
So we humans, we are hardwired to notice all these little subcommunications. Picture two people walking into a room. One of them just like glows in the dark. It’s like a magnet for other people to come and activity and social behavior. The other one basically fades into the shadows. How are those two people actually different? It’s the subcommunications that make those two people different. Which one is more likely to be successful? Which one is more persuasive, more influential?
So how can you be that person? And the road to being is through doing. I actually have a whole video on that – “the road to being is through doing.” So you can do these behaviors and you can literally train yourself to be a little more alpha, a little more confident. There are little things that you can do.
One of the things is to take up more space. When you sit in a chair, stretch out. When you stand up, be willing to move your hands around. Take up more space. Again, animal kingdom – our human experience is the same thing. Be willing to take up more space.
Be willing to speak louder. The singers, professional singers like opera singers, they have voice training which teaches them to sing from their diaphragm, way down here, to sing from their diaphragm rather than singing from their throat. A lot of people sing from their throat. It’s a far less powerful way to project. And these operatic singers, they can fill an entire opera house with their voice—just one person without even a microphone—because they’re singing from that diaphragm, from way down in their gut, and they have an enormous amount of power.
It’s like boxing. The difference between just trying to box like that, you’re not going to get any power behind it, versus like coming back and stepping into it like my left foot is stepping down right now and you go right through the punch, you go right through your target as well, now you have an enormous amount of power behind that punch. Same thing is true for your voice. Be willing to speak louder. Practice it, even in a room by yourself. Practice speaking louder and be willing to speak louder and speak openly.
Have you ever noticed how you can see someone from across the room, let’s say it’s a crowded room, maybe a networking event of some kind or a reception, and you look across the room and you see maybe a group of people over there talking, and you can hear one person clear as day but you can’t hear anything the other people are saying? That person is probably the alpha person within that group in that situation. He or she may not always be playing that role, but in that situation he or she is in that role and he’s projecting or she is projecting. She’s speaking louder, he’s speaking louder, so you can hear it from all the way across the room.
Be willing to be more animated. Be willing to be more passionate. Get more excited about the things you’re talking about, because when you’re excited all kinds of things happen naturally. You don’t have to worry about faking it or doing it intentionally, just worry about being passionate about the topic and a lot of the other stuff will take care of itself.
Another thing is to draw your state. Like let’s say the difference between being happy and being sad, or being angry or frustrated – a lot of people rely on their external circumstances to be in one camp or the other. So they’re looking for like good things to happen in their lives, so that puts them in a good mood, they’re having a good day, versus maybe a bunch of bad things happen and so they’re having a bad day. So they’re getting their emotional state from their environment.
Train yourself to get your emotional state from within. And this is hard. It’s easier said than done. I work on this stuff myself. But train yourself to, in any situation, let’s say you’ve had a hard day, train yourself, just a get a little instinct to say to yourself, “You know what? I have control over this situation. I choose to be happy or I choose to be positive in this environment.” You’re drawing state from within. You have less outcome dependence, like “I’m dependent on this outcome for me to be happy or that outcome for me to be happy.”
This is true in going to interviews when you’re interviewing for jobs or doing a sales call, or trying to meet somebody in a networking event or even if you’re trying to meet a girl, or if you’re a girl meet a guy. Whether or not they react in the way you want should not matter. You have to be more process-oriented. “I am going to say hi to this person. I am going to do this sales call because I know I have to. I’m going to do this interview as good as I can no matter what the circumstances.” Drawing state from within. That’s that confidence. That’s that alpha behavior is saying, “I can do it on my own. I am doing my thing and no matter what happens around me I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and doing it with a smile on my face.”
We get a lot of social pressures. For example, speaking in front of people. That’s what I do for a living. So when I get onstage, that is an alpha behavior. There is a certain amount of social pressure that I all of a sudden am confronted with. I have to have tolerance for those social pressures. If I walk up on that stage and there are 400 people in front of me, I have to be confident in that space and be able to fill that role and animate and be passionate and talk loud and so on and so forth to try and create the impression that I want and do a good job. But the interesting thing is that when I’m up on that stage, I’m far more influential, I’m far more persuasive because I’m on that stage, which is an alpha behavior. So immediately all those other people are going to put me in a certain category while I’m up there. And let’s say they met me just in the hallway of the convention center in the hotel somewhere. Well, now we’re just two people. There’s no immediate difference. There’s no immediate alpha differential between the two of us. And so in that environment I’m not as persuasive or as influential, so I have to rely on other things like being passionate and being animated even in those environments.
But being willing to get up on that stage and speak in front of people, that’s an alpha behavior. Being willing to go up to someone you don’t know and say hello, that’s an alpha behavior. You’re showing tolerance to social pressure. People are very attracted to people who have tolerance for social pressure because they’re in their own confidence, they’re in their own space, and nothing affects them except them. It’s a very powerful position to have.
So if you want to be more persuasive and influential in your own life, then you have to cultivate those things. You have to cultivate that willingness to do things that other people aren’t willing to do and show tolerance to social pressure and be passionate about what it is you’re talking about and get excited and use your hands and speak louder, take up more space. If you do those things, people will automatically listen to you more and be persuaded by you more and be influenced by you more. It will happen without them even noticing it. It’s a natural human behavior. Not even human, it’s an animal behavior as well. So if you want to be more influential and more persuasive, develop that alpha confidence, those alpha behaviors, those tiny little subcommunications that can make a huge difference in the way you interact with the people in your life.
Thanks for watching this video. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.