A convincing appearance - online and in presence

Estelle Klemp
Personal skills

Good argumentation goes beyond the content of the message

You want to integrate a new system, advocate for more flexible working hours or generally convince your employees with arguments? Then you've come to the right place - because here you'll learn how to argue with full persuasive power. After all, it's not just the content of the arguments that counts, but also how you convey them. And not only in person, but also virtually due to increasing digitalization and working from home.

Sender and receiver

When people communicate with each other, they exchange messages. They thus become senders and receivers. The sender communicates a message to the receiver, who decodes and interprets this message. Only then can the receiver react to the message and send out a signal - and thus become a sender him/herself. Different communication channels can be chosen as the sender:

Verbal communication: actual spoken or written language.

Paraverbal communication: type of articulation (e.g., tone of voice or volume)

Non-verbal communication: gestures, facial expressions, body posture

Be sure to keep this in mind for the next topics!

Good preparation pays off!

Good preparation concerns both the content and the interpersonal level. In this way, you can show that the conversation with your counterpart is important to you and that the topic is close to your heart. In turn, the person you are talking to will respond more openly to your concerns. In order to be able to appear convincingly both online and in person, we provide you with 3 important tips for preparation:

Online meetings

Camera at eye level

Quiet and tidy working environment, possibly virtual meeting background

Good sound quality

Face-to-face meetings

Arrive on time

Eliminate distractions (e.g., turn off mobile phone)

Respect communication rules

Convince linguistically

By using descriptive and comprehensible language, you can stimulate your counterpart's imagination, making your arguments easier to understand. In particular, avoid jargon, foreign words and abbreviations during your argument. Also make sure to avoid the so-called softeners - these can trigger skepticism in the other person and make you appear insecure. Among the softeners are:

Filler words, e.g., "actually", "so to speak" and "like".

Relativizations, e.g., "possibly".


For a more visual language you can refer to your own experiences ("During my studies..."), to those of your counterpart ("You surely know ...") or make analogies to the topic ("We have chosen a similar approach in Project XY: ..."). In this way, you can reinforce your persuasive power.

Well said - tips for the use of language in the virtual space

Since verbal communication is the number one channel of communication in the virtual space, you should follow these rules for language use:

Speak as clearly as possible and choose a moderate basic tempo

Ask regularly if all participants have understood your arguments - because often you can't see questioning faces

Bring your arguments to the point.

Agree on communication rules for the digital space. For example: While one person is talking, everyone else turns off their microphone. Raise your hand if you want to say something.


Convincing with your inner and outer attitude

If you use your outer posture correctly, you can also increase your inner confidence. Pay particular attention to your mimics, gestures, posture and voice. Try to have friendly facial expressions and smile at the person you are talking to from time to time. In addition, use your gestures purposefully - in the analog space large movements have a positive effect, while in the virtual space smaller movements are advantageous. Remember to sit or stand up straight and use your voice to convincingly convey your arguments through intonation or volume. However, the following also applies:

A convincing charisma is the result of a positive inner attitude.

This is how you can encourage a positive attitude:

Imagine how your performance will be a success, rather than predicting a failure.

Replace negative self-statements with positive ones.

Who wants to promote you or who is critical of you? Identify those people to meet them at eye level and facilitate constructive exchanges.

Focus on what excites you about the topic at hand.

Blackout, what now?

Who has not experienced this? Just a moment ago we were totally in the topic, but suddenly our mind goes completely blank. But don't worry! Even in the case of a blackout, you can still be convincing. With the help of various strategies, you can avert it just in time or find your way out of the blackout if it has already occurred.

Resort to a formulated script of your argumentation.

Cover up the mental block - take a short break, summarize what you have said or start over again.

Consciously take deep breaths.

Interact with the audience by asking back, "Can you follow me to this point?"

If status is not an issue: Admit your blackout openly.

In a nutshell:

A convincing performance requires both convincing arguments and personal persuasiveness.

Good preparation, a strong voice, descriptive and understandable language in a proper tone, confident body language as well as a positive inner and outer attitude all contribute to great personal persuasiveness.

In case of a blackout, suitable strategies help to be convincing, nevertheless.

In order to be convincing, it is also advantageous to get your personal stress level under control. You need support? No problem - click here to improve your resilience.

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