Thursday, February 07, 2019

One-Day Seminar: Persuading Like an Entrepreneur

Since 2012, I've been studying how entrepreneurs communicate, and especially how they persuade stakeholders. It's a fascinating topic, since they have to articulate a problem, identify audiences for whom it's a problem, and position their own product or service to address the problem.

In fact, it's so fascinating that I've authored or coauthored several articles about it, and edited two special issues of journals on entrepreneurship communication.

Watching these entrepreneurs put together their arguments has led me to think: What lessons do they have for the rest of us? What can we learn about persuasion from them?

And that led me to put together an HDO one-day seminar: A Good Idea is Not Enough: Persuading Like an Entrepreneur.

This seminar is on March 6. We'll talk about

  • Understanding the big picture. Why don’t ideas “sell themselves”? How does persuasion work, and how can we develop and communicate an offering that can persuade all of our stakeholders?
  • Choosing the right argument — and refining it with feedback. What kind of logic should you apply to your offering? How do you establish feedback loops to refine that offering? How do you identify pain and articulate a persuasive value proposition?
  • Making it work: Figuring out your self-sustaining system. A value proposition is the kernel of your argument, but you also have to demonstrate that it can be sustained. Whose problem are you solving? What’s the solution’s scope? What are the pieces of the system that will sustain it? And how do you “fail faster” without failing disastrously?
  • Pitching. Once you’ve developed an argument, you have to pitch it, then answer questions from stakeholders who may disagree with you and each other. How do you pitch effectively? How do you cocreate solutions with your audience? When do you decide to persevere, pivot — or punt?

If you might be interested, but have questions, shoot me an email at I hope to see you there!