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Online Course

Storytelling and influencing: Communicate with impact

Macquarie University via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 3-5 hours a week
  • Duration 6 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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An ambitious vision for the future of your organisation isn’t enough – how do you communicate this vision to get your colleagues on board? The ability to effectively communicate and persuade others is a key leadership skill. Traditional and common-sense models of communication and persuasion often fail to capture the complex nature of ‘influencing’. Via structured learning activities (video lectures, quizzes, discussion prompts and written assessments) this course will develop your capacity to communicate appropriately in different situational and cultural contexts, making you a highly influential leader.


The necessary art of persuasion: Understanding what matters to your audience
-At the heart of persuasive communications is a solid understanding of your audience and what they find appealing. This week you will learn the basic theory of persuasive communication, including models of information processing, motivational appeals, message acceptance, fast and slow decision making and rules of effective human interactions.

Telling your story: Developing a dramatic narrative
-Effective storytelling starts with developing persuasive content, and then structuring a dramatic narrative that will spark the imagination. In week 2, you will learn how to apply storytelling principles like shaping the beginning, building the middle, and making the ending powerful. You will learn how to find the winning idea for your story, colour it with emotions, and use metaphors to quickly connect concepts in people’s minds.

Connecting with people: Developing authenticity and building rapport
-Developing rapport and trust is a crucial aspect of persuasion, in fact, it crucial for any form of supportive human interactions. Often times, this means being able to read a situation and adapt the approach accordingly. In week 3, you will learn how to speak authentically, and how to quickly build and maintain rapport. The means by which this can be accomplished include the use of verbal and non-verbal cues and the techniques of matching and mirroring the body language and vocal qualities of the other person.

Talk the talk: Creating impressions and guiding influential conversations
-Group meetings can create lasting impressions, which is why it important that they are well run. But, more often than not, such meetings are unproductive. Stress and tension in meetings are also common. In week 4, you will learn how to lead influential group conversation by planning an effective meeting, be aware of the do’s and don’ts in meeting, avoid groupthink, and how to make better decisions. You will also learn the power of impression management.

Painful truth: Dealing with objections and overcoming resistance
-Not all conversations are positive. Some are painful but necessary, like handling objections and overcoming resistance. In week 5, you will learn how to prepare for stressful conversations and deal with objections.You will understand the nature of the objections, why people make them, and then how to reduce their resistance, and defend your proposals against these objections.

Winning over hearts and minds: How to pitch a brilliant idea

Taught by

Associate Professor Lawrence Ang and Arabella MacPherson

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