influence versus presentingAt Influenceology we often use the tag line “Stop Presenting! and Start Influencing” and recently someone asked me what is the difference?

Influence has many meanings varying by context.

In the context of presentations, presenting is merely sharing information and influencing is sharing the information in such a way that the audience is so deeply impacted that they take action — sign up, make a decision, take a stand.

Watch many speakers and you will notice that there are a lot of guys/gals that show up, speak and present very powerfully.  They’re very articulate and give great content, but at the end of the presentation people say, “You’re an amazing speaker, phenomenal. You’re the best speaker I ever heard.”  But they do not end up doing business with them, and they don’t enroll in their message.

They present well, but they have not influenced.

Let’s say you have a team of ten sales guys in the field. Which would you rather have?

10 people presenting information to prospective clients or 10 people influencing their prospects from Point A to Point B?

Which one?

Of course, the influencers.

I believe some people may say, “Oh Jeff , this is just semantics” I personally don’t believe it is.

I think there’s three distinctions.

Number one: their focus orientation. 

I remember when I first got hired by Tony Robbin’s organization and Roberto was coaching me.  He told me, “I can go and speak for Obama right now, the President of the United States. I don’t care. When I started speaking for Tony Robbins I was making no money.  I was broke.  Literally broke. And yet, I was doing presentations on Wall Street for guys making millions and millions of dollars a year.

He told me he didn’t care how much money they were making because he knew that influencing is always about moving people from Point A to Point B.

He wasn’t there to present the information.

He was there to move them from Point A to Point B and everybody wants a Point B meaning more money, more health, more happiness, more fun, more love — everybody has a Point B. 

Everybody wants to go to the next level.

As an influencer, you want to focus on that.

The second distinction is: traditional public speaking teaches public speaking. 

Traditional public speaking is about a beginning, a middle and an end.  Or “tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them”.

This type of communication if focused mostly on the structure of the message… the ‘form’ of the message, with little regard for the audience which is the ‘essence’ of the message.

 Simply put: they don’t implement increments of influence.

We teach InfluenceOlogy which is a methodology that combines presentation techniques, sales techniques, human psychology, and human behavior.

Influence is always changing.

There’s a book I highly recommend called Drive by Daniel PinkDrive is what motivates people.

The author talks about three psychological drivers everybody has according to brand new research: autonomy, self mastery, and purpose.

As an influencer, when I craft my message I’m always going to ask: “Is my message helping my clients to create more autonomy?  Is my message going to help my clients to have more self mastery? Is my message helping my clients to experience more purpose in life?

We’re always studying influence and human psychology and incorporating that into the umbrella of InfluenceOlogy.

The third distinction is: that presenting is more like an act, the act of presenting information. Influencing, on the other hand, is a reflection of who you are.

When we work with clients, the first thing we go to work on is their Identity as an influencer.

Most people see themselves as insignificant, average and that their message really doesn’t matter.

When it comes time to give a presentation, they will put their cape on and then try to move the audience.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

You can’t take someone to place you have never gone to yourself.  As a leader you must go first.  Your message must be the essence of who you ARE.

It’s not an act.  It’s who you are and what you are about. When you’ve got the mind set of being an influencer you show up.

It’s total power, total emotion, every single time.




  1. Roberto Monaco on October 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This is such a powerful distinction. Great job on this article Jeff Sterling Paro.

    • Jeff Sterling Paro on October 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks man! But that is kinda like your mother saying good job…you kinda have to!!! ahahaha bjs

  2. Miguel Contreras on November 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Awesome… poignant as I am half way thru "drive" andbjustvgot asked to teach a sales class for rookie realtors…you guys are awesome mentors.

    • Roberto Monaco on November 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing this my friend!! How was your class?

  3. Valerie Fuson on November 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    You are so right. If you aren't influencing and impacting your audience to feel, or take action you are just talking. STOP presenting and Start Influencing.

    • Jeff Sterling Paro on November 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Valerie…thanks for participating. You're so right too. If you can induce a feeling into your audience, you are influencing at the highest level!!

  4. Cherri Wilson on November 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Fabulous InfluenceOlogy!!!

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