Getting people to attend an event, join your group, or contribute to your favorite cause is actually a form of public speaking that looks “natural” and deceptively easy.  The reality is that many of the people who are effective in persuading others to come to an event, become a member, or fork over money have usually received some kind of training.

Here are a few pointers to help you come across as inviting and influential, drawn from the world of public speaking, selling and fundraising, whether you’re doing an informal invite, trying to land a new member, or a more formal “ask:”

  1. Think about what’s in it for the person you’re approaching, not just for you and your organization. What are the primary benefits for them to do what you’re asking and how can you clearly and quickly convey them? Remember, they won’t care about what you’re talking about until you make your words relevant to their own interests and needs.
  1. Consider using either direct or indirect benefit words to support your request. Identify two or three from the lists below and weave them into your conversation. Some direct benefits include improvement, less work, money saved, problem solved, safety, satisfaction, comfort, convenience, enjoyment, less stress, increase odds of success, conquer fears, entertainment, and health. Indirect benefits you can cite are popularity, affection, appreciation, approval, belonging, friendship, prestige, promotion, recognition, and respect.
  1. Ask for help! I recommend that your nonprofit orgaask-helpnization board of directors and other experienced leaders create action word models that newcomers can follow to increase the odds of success in their outreach efforts.

I invite you to share the benefit words and how you’ve used them, along with what you’ve found the most rewarding in your own community endeavors. Please include the name of your nonprofit organization. Send them to me at: or tweet them @AnneMiami. In future blogs, I’ll post your shares to help spread the wealth of ideas and successes you’ve achieved, and in turn, help others obtain the results they’re seeking, too.

For a limited time only, I encourage you to click here and download your own free copy of my new E-book, Get the Yes Start-Up Kit.