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Stanford Continuing Studies

The Science of Being Memorable and Influencing Decisions

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Effective communication motivates an audience. When you communicate, you typically want your audience to be moved in the moment and to act in the future. But what influences their decisions? The answer is simple, yet complex: memory.

People make decisions in your favor based on what they remember. However, research confirms that audiences forget most of what you share. Likewise, they often experience decision fatigue. So how can your audiences act on what you say if they don’t remember most of it? And how do you drive toward specific decisions in the face of cognitive inertia?

By leveraging research in neuroscience and decision-making, this workshop will help answer these questions. Through interactive exercises and live research, you will learn and employ a series of best practices that will make your content (e.g., sales pitch, marketing message, training materials, finance review, or technical data) more memorable and likely to influence decisions. Specifically, you will learn three ways the brain makes decisions and how to create an optimal “10 percent message” that is easily remembered and linked to your key decision drivers. You will also learn how to influence memory with precision, determine specific choice variables that guide the brain, and use a five-step, persuasive template to spark action.

GIBS Business School

Persuasion Science for Leaders

Next dates

Jul 23—24
2 days
Sandton, South Africa
ZAR 17300 ≈USD 1199
ZAR 8650 per day


Learn a life-long skill of persuasion and use it to positively impact your ability to lead.

An avalanche of brain-science has made the topic of persuasion easier to understand and implement. Discover breakthrough findings from neuroscience and their relevance to negotiations, leadership and influencing others.

Over the past decade brain-research has helped construct elegant systems to lead, sell and negotiate. So why not put yourself a decade ahead of the pack by practicing the crucial elements of persuasion.

New research has actually made persuasion simpler and thus more powerful. By focusing on a few big discoveries, neuroscience has allowed us to focus on the basics, and produce a persuasion system that is intuitive and powerful. Thanks to neuroscience, new persuasion models have transformed the way leadership and other forms of persuasion should be viewed – a high-trust processes that is enjoyable for all parties (i.e. leader-follower or negotiator-contender).

We now know that people have an unconscious repulsion to being persuaded. Overuse of “clever” tactics disables a follower’s rational “human” brain (neocortex), shutting down cognitive and creative reasoning of the prefrontal cortex. At the crux of persuasion is adapting our style to these primal human characteristics. Fortunately, neuroscience has also exposed that people are strongly motivated by the emotional engagement of trustworthy relationships. So how do we persuade, and get cooperation, without forcing someone to comply?

Leadership, sales, and negotiating skills – persuasion science – are so closely intertwined that they should be taught together. In fact, we need to first know the basics of selling before every negotiation and/or leadership interaction. This “systems-approach” is what makes this 2-day programme unique. As you will discover, it is this fusion of psychology with neuroscience that makes this refreshingly new and appropriate approach impossible to ignore.

How you will benefit:

  • At the end of the programme, you will be able to:
  • Learn what our brains are going through during the persuasion process;
  • Learn a simple but extremely powerful leadership and negotiation system (most leadership, negotiation or sales systems are far too complicated to learn, remember and implement);
  • Have a simple and powerful leadership system that is easy to implement (Gallup estimates that 70% of the variation of an employee’s engagement is due to leadership; and have found that a 5% increase engagement equates to a 3% increase in revenue);
  • Have a simple and powerful negotiation systems that is easy to implement;
  • Learnt how to build trust fast through preparation and body language;
  • Learn how to handle objections with empathy and assertiveness;
  • Learn the golden rules of negotiating; and
  • Learn to manage emotions and body language, whilst keeping the blood in the prefrontal cortex.

Key Focus Areas:

  • The background to how neuroscience developed;
  • The basics of the brain for understanding persuasion, leadership and objection handling;
  • What is more important, "energy or focus"?;
  • Four major positive neurotransmitters (to get people “high” on your consultative "selling" approach and high-trust leadership style);
  • The neuroscience of trust;
  • Understanding our top-8 basic emotions in a leadership or persuasion situation; and
  • Why 99% of people can't remember names (how to remember names straight after being introduced).

Who should attend

This course is appropriate for anyone at any level who wants to learn how to persuade, lead, inspire, influence, negotiate and/or sell. Persuasion and leadership is a life-skill, which cuts across all business functions.



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