Persuade Your Dog

Quote of the Week

“To sway an audience, you must watch them as you speak.”

— C. Kent Wright

Persuade Your Dog

by Marcia Yudkin

One town over from mine, schoolchildren can sign up to read to a dog.

No kidding! The trained dog listens attentively, and its non-judgmental attitude improves young readers’ confidence as they sound out words and narrate the story on the page.

This suggests some great variations on practice methods I have advocated for marketers.

  • Stating your fee. Many people noticeably stumble or hold back when asked what something will cost. Tell your dog how much you charge, again and again, until both you and the dog believe it.
  • Practicing speeches. Got a keynote coming up? Delivering it to your dog may prepare you better than practicing to the mirror or an empty room.
    Ditto for your 30-second networking self-introduction.
  • Putting life into your voice. Curing a monotone requires conscious and even crazy vocal contortions before settling into a naturally livelier speaking pattern. Entertain a dog.
    – or an infant – with your voice exercises.
  • Preparing cold calls. Have fun telling the dog what you’ll say when that stranger answers the telephone. The playful spirit can energize your pitch when you make it for real.


Reprinted with permission from Marcia Yudkin’s free weekly newsletter, The Marketing Minute.

Coaching Call to Action

Marcia has great advice this week about practicing before you get to your human audience. Whenever I have a talk to give, I always practice at the kitchen counter where I can stand up, move around and see myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. And I have an audience of two, Rosie and Ellie, our dogs. They are a great audience. If I can keep their attention while a squirrel runs by the window, I know I am doing a wonderful job with my talk. If on the other hand all they want to do is get out the door, I know I need to tweak the talk. This week, practice your presentations!