(This is Part 2 in the Communicator’s University series. Read Part 1 here.)
You may have deduced, from my title, that I want you to stop deducing. And you would be right.
In our continuing series on helping you become a better speaker, I want you to drop deduction in favor of induction, and here’s why. Induction will hold the audiences’ attention longer and give you a better shot at persuasively making your point.
Deduction vs. Induction
In short, a deductive style of teaching begins by stating your point, and then works to elucidate it. For instance, let’s say you’re a Green Bay Packers’ fan, and you want to convince your listeners to become Green Bay Packers’ fans, too. So you start with your point (deduction). You say, “Today I want to convince you to become Green Bay Packers’ fans, and I have three reasons. One, the Packers have won more NFL championships than any other team, so they are entirely awesome. Two, they’re from a dinky town and it’s cool to see little guys stomp big guys… And, three, they call it the Lombardi Trophy for a reason.” This is a common form of public presentation, and while it may have its merits in terms of conveying information, it’s not very persuasive in a skeptical or hostile environment. Make that speech to a room of Minnesota Vikings’ fans and you’ll have lost them at the beginning. At best, they’ll wait you out, but their attention will be elsewhere.
Or let’s say you’re invited to speak to the American Atheist Society, and you start by saying, “I believe in God, and you should, too.” Same thing.
An Inductive Journey
Induction is just the opposite. Rather than starting with the point, induction gets to the point. It takes the listener on a journey, eventually taking them to an intended destination. If you were pitching becoming a Packers’ fan, you’d rather start by building the criteria by which a football adherent could become happy. “Life is short, so it’s imperative that we follow winners when narrowing our entertainment choices….” And after building your case, it becomes (more) obvious which way a listener should lean.
You get it. “Greetings, atheists. I’m thankful (to no Being in particular) for the opportunity to speak today about the making sense in a non-sense world, and how I have personally come to come to a point of logical synthesis that is internally consistent and logically persuasive.”
In conclusion (ha!), speak inductively.
[box] My Ministry Leaders’ CORE Group has filled up and is no longer accepting registrations. Look for another group to start before long. I’m happy to connect with any of you who might be interested in this. As I’ve said before, GiANT’s materials are, hands down, the best leadership development methodology I’ve ever been around.[/box]