business people reviewing sales performance in a meeting.

Why logic is critical to your business presentation skills

Have you ever listened to a speech or presentation and thought…

What exactly is the point they’re trying to make?

So what?

How did he/she come to that conclusion?

In all of these cases, the speaker probably lacked logos.

Logos is a Greek word which derives from the English word, logic. Logos is part of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion, along with Ethos and Pathos. They help you develop more engaging, sophisticated arguments, so whether you’re pitching a new idea to a client, or wanting your Board to see a new direction to the strategy, applying logic to your presentation is critical to help people buy into what you have to say.

Logic, by definition is “the study of correct reasoning, especially regarding making inferences.”

If your presentation is hard to follow, or if your argument or reasoning is not strong enough, your audience will easily dismiss your ideas.

Sound, logical arguments, on the other hand, are hard for your audience to ignore.

So let’s look deeper into why logic is so critical to your presentation skills…

Logically connecting the facts

Just because something has a factual claim, doesn’t mean it will connect with your audience.  I could tell you that:

“This is the best iPhone to use because it has a long battery life.”

For them, the best phone may be another model with better camera. Or it could be the one with better connectivity.

With this argument, I’m leaving out –“you-focused perspectives” – their point of view. As a result, my argument sounds not persuasive enough for them.

Also, we want to be careful about using absolute terms, like “best”, “only”, “everyone”, “perfect”. People’s perceptions are different. So absolute terms could also compromise logic.

What if I improved my argument and said:

“When you’re dashing from meeting to meeting and always on the go, you need an iPhone that has a long battery life so you don’t lose connection with the people that matter the most.”

Do you see the difference?

I’ve related my facts to my audience because I know they are busy people who don’t have time to charge their phones several times in a day.

I’ve set up a situation that they can relate to, and now they’re interested in what I have to say.

The key here is to have a clear understanding of your audience, because without that, you will lack the connection to the logic.

 

Choosing your supporting evidence

There are two very simple, yet very important questions I learned as a Strategy Consultant at McKinsey.

“So What?” and “Why So?”.

The first question, “So What?”, clarifies the logical connection between your facts, data, research findings, and statements that you use to back up your One Big Message.

As a general rule, focus on finding a few relevant stats to back up your point so that they stick with your audience, always being mindful that they’re stats that are going to help with building that important connection.

You could use this stat:

“In New York City, business people on average charge their phone 2.6 times per day, and only 6% carry a portable charger.”

I’ve dropped in the fact that the stat relates to business people (my audience) and that on average they need access to a charger at least twice a day. Now I’ve suddenly got them thinking about purchasing an iPhone with a longer battery life.

Influencing your audience to arrive at same conclusion as you

Why So? Goes the other direction. It supports your reasoning and how you came to such a conclusion.

This is an important influencing tool that I work on with my clients to help them craft a compelling argument.

Check there is a logical connection again between One Big Message and each Main point, with Why So in between to connect them.

Here is my One Big Message. Why So? Because, Main Point.

A persuasive presentation calls for careful crafting and strategy.  To be sure you’re on track, book a FREE 15 minute Discovery Call to run through your logic with me and let’s see if you can convince me with your argument. If nothing else, you’ll go away with some helpful tips that are sure to improve your presentations.

 

Book your FREE 15 minutes with me here >>

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