Management Matters: Getting Others to Take Action

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you have to work so hard to get other people to take action?

Do you lose the focus, key point or often ramble when you communicate? Regardless of whether you are making a formal presentation, facilitating a group discussion, leading a meeting, or are involved in a one-on-one conversation, you need a strategy to prepare a message that gets results.

Moving People to Action:

  • Start Strong It’s important to start with a strong opening that grabs the attention of your listener. Many people tell me, “Once I get started I’m okay.” That can be hears by others as “Don’t listen to me for the first couple of minutes. Wait until I get going. It gets better later. “

    Focused and Short – Being clear about your goal for speaking is the first critical step in being concise. Avoid starting out with “What I would like to talk about today is…”  The people you are talking to probably know why you want to speak with them (unless you’ve decided to keep it a surprise!) You don’t need to lay groundwork for the topic; get right to the point within the first 30 seconds.
  • Develop Trust – People are persuaded by people they trust so share your feelings about the topic. If you think the topic is important, say so and tell them why.
  • Be Specific Communicate in specific terms what you want the other person (people) to do. It increases the chance that they will take action because you have spelled out exactly the action you want to see. For listeners to act, they need to leave with a clear understanding of what you are asking of them: “Vote for me,” “Get it to me by Friday at noon.” “Sign up today,” “Write a check.”

  • WIIFM Everyone is tuned in to W I I F M (What’s in it for me?) and that is what people really want to know. Articulate the benefits of action because it is often the most important part of your message.
  • End Strong It’s often said that we remember the first and last thing we hear so your closing should be as strong as your opening.

Changing up our communication to enhance the message and how we are perceived by those who listen to us takes time, thought, and practice. If you make the commitment to create a message in a more thoughtful and focused way, you will find that you have a greater impact, motivate others to take action, and you might even be able to talk less.

So that when you DO speak, people will listen.

Nationally recognized management development consultant, trainer, author and professional speaker Joni Daniels has helped thousands of people and teams become empowered about accomplishing their professional and personal goals. She is a sought after resource for Fortune 500 clients, professional organizations, higher education, and media outlets and business publications. Joni can be reached at