Master Your Message Blog

The Most Important Word You’ll Ever Use in a Persuasive Presentation

There is one word that’s the most important word in any persuasive presentation: You.

If my speech or presentation is about me, it may have interest, if it’s a good story, but if it’s about you … out there in the audience … there is nothing more interesting on earth! To you at least! Right?


Your presentation belongs to your audienceThe most important thing I learned on my journey to speaking professionally is that my presentation belongs to my audience. Now, I might have personal stories to illustrate a point, but the point has to relate to my audience … you. It has to, to be of interest and for me to be successful.

In fact, the objective of any talk has to center on your audience. If you’re doing a persuasive presentation, you need to know what your audience has to believe in order to do what you want them to do. That’s what any persuasive presentation is really about – changing a belief, to result in action.

So … any persuasive talk I do … is all about my audience. Just as any presentation you put together has to focus on your audience.

Now, sometimes, it can be about us … as a group. For example, “we all have challenges putting together presentations that motivate our audiences to excel … to reach our full potential” – used in a sentence just like that … “we,” as a group. You can include your audience in your group.

But when I use the word “you,” it’s more personal … it really gets your attention. It’s about as personal as you can get.

An important rule: Your presentation belongs to your audience.

Next time you write a script for your talk, count the number of yous. Then count the number of I’s.

This video has 13 yous and 4 I’s … well, five counting the last one in this sentence …

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