by John Hughes
The mark of a leader is the ability to influence people through persuasion. The Persuasive Influence path was created to help Toastmasters just like you develop this personality trait. This path is designed to build your skills in a wide range of social, leadership and public speaking arenas.
Like other paths, the Persuasive Influence path has multiple levels and special projects that you complete to acquire new skills. One of the goals of this path is to teach you how to find a positive solution to a variety of challenges that you face in life. Of course, finding a positive outcome is not always easy. The Persuasive Influence path will help you find creative solutions in difficult situations.
In many ways, the Persuasive Influence path aligns with the problem-solver paradigm that Alexis de Tocqueville—a 19th Century diplomat, political scientist and historian—captured about in his classic book Democracy in America. In a similar vein, the Persuasive Influence path coaches Toastmasters in the development of ‘soft’ skills. For example, making connections with other people by networking. It also offers tips on becoming problem solver and in influencing people as your team works to solve difficult problems.
As with other paths, Persuasive Influence has five levels. It starts with the fundamentals. As you build mastery in each level, you will build your expertise in persuasive influence. Like in other paths, this the Persuasive Influence path has a series of required projects and electives. For example, in Level Three, you may elect to learn how to connect with others through storytelling.
By pursuing the Persuasive Influence path you will boost your interpersonal skills. These same skills are key to connecting with people, an important public speaking skill. You will also learn to apply priceless soft skills in working with others, a fundamental building block of any effective leader.
John Hughes is on the Editorial Team of District 27 Toastmasters and treasurer of FAA Speechmasters Club 2996, which meets at noon the first and third Tuesday of every month at the FAA Headquarters. For more information, visit the club website or email FAA Toastmasters.