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Robert Cialdini          

New York Times Best-Selling Author; The Foundational Expert in the Science of Influence & Persuasion

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career conducting scientific research on what leads people to say “yes” to requests. The results of his research, his ensuing articles, and New York Times bestselling books have earned him an acclaimed reputation as a respected scientist and engaging storyteller.

His books, including "Influence" and "Pre-Suasion," have sold more than five-million copies in over 40 different languages.

Cialdini is known globally as the foundational expert in the science of influence and how to apply it ethically in business. His "Six Principles of Persuasion" have become a cornerstone for any organization serious about effectively increasing their influence.

As a keynote speaker, Cialdini has earned a world-wide reputation for his ability to translate the science into valuable and practical actions. His on-stage stories are described as dramatic and indelible. Because of all of this, he is frequently regarded as “The Godfather of Influence."

Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. Cialdini received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and post-doctoral training from Columbia University. He holds honorary doctoral degrees (Doctor Honoris Causa) from Georgetown University, University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Wroclaw, Poland, and University of Basil in Switzerland. He has held Visiting Scholar appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University.

In acknowledgement of his outstanding research achievements and contributions in behavioral science, Cialdini was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.

Cialdini is President and CEO of Influence at Work. He has worked with clients including Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Bayer, Coca-Cola, the London School of Economics, and Ogilvy.

Cialdini and his impressive body of research have been featured on "Dateline NBC," CNBC, CNN, ABC, and PBS, as well as in the Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, Business Week, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

Speech Topics


The Small Big's of Successful Social Influence

Since publishing multiple books on the topic, Dr. Robert Cialdini has been frequently asked to speak to audiences about the principles of persuasion that scientific research indicates are most likely to spur others to change. In those presentations, something has emerged that invariably captures audience attention to a remarkable degree: If, while describing one or another of these psychological principles, Dr. Cialdini says, “Now, I’m going to give you something really small that you can do to make this principle work in your behalf,” the room changes immediately. Bodies incline forward, faces lift to the stage, and pens hover above notepads.

It’s understandable. Audience members are responding to an attractive return-on-investment proposition. It’s one that’s likely to be of enormous value in their increasingly timechallenged, busy lives—a minor investment of time or energy that will lead to disproportionate returns in all sorts of daily arenas. After all, to achieve most professional and personal goals, people need to be influential in their interactions with others; and reliable shortcuts in that pursuit are like found gold. In addition, these “small BIGs” are attractive because they require little expense or effort to implement—often involving nothing more than the change of a word or two in a communication—which makes them more likely (than big procedural changes) to be actually performed.

In this presentation, Dr. Cialdini focuses on a set of small alterations that individuals can make to their persuasive attempts that research shows are likely to produce significant increases in their persuasive success. In the process, he illustrates the four forms that “small BIGs” can take: small adjustments to words, actions, images, and environments that can all produce out-sized persuasive impact. Finally, he stresses how individuals can employ such adjustments not only effectively but ethically as well to ensure the cultivation and enhancement of long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

Building Trust Through Influence

It is through the influence process that we generate and manage change. Like most things, the process can be handled poorly or well. It can be employed to foster growth and to move people away from negative choices and in more positive directions, thereby creating the conditions for new change opportunities. Or, it can be used clumsily, reducing the chance for genuine movement and, in the worst of cases, boomeranging into conflict and resentment.

In this presentation, Dr. Robert Cialdini first describes the six universal principles of influence—those that are so powerful that they generate desirable change in the widest range of circumstances. The principles are: Liking, Authority, Social Proof, Scarcity, Reciprocation, and Consistency. Dr. Cialdini’s presentation next focuses on how the first three of these principles have been and can be harnessed to meet specific, mutually beneficial objectives by building trust. Throughout, Dr. Cialdini emphasizes the ethical use of the principles so that those who are influenced feel personally committed to the change and come to trust (appropriately) that their advisor/partner will continue to counsel them correctly. It is only in this fashion that the influence process can be simultaneously effective, ethical, and enduring. And, it is only in this fashion that it can enhance a lasting sense of partnership between those involved in the exchange.

Leadership Through the Power of Persuasion

It is through the influence process that we lead, generate, and manage change. Like most things, the process can be handled poorly or well. It can be employed to foster growth and to move people away from negative choices and in more positive directions, thereby creating the conditions for new opportunities. Or, it can be used clumsily, reducing the chance for genuine movement and, in the worst of cases, boomeranging into conflict and resentment.

As such, it is important for those wishing to lead effectively to understand fully the workings of the influence process. Fortunately, a vast body of scientific evidence now exists on how, when, and why people say yes to influence attempts. In his presentation, Dr. Robert Cialdini extracts from this formidable body of work the six universal principles of influence--those that are so powerful that they generate desirable change in the widest range of circumstances.

The principles are:

  • Reciprocation: People are significantly more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, concessions, etc.) from a leader who has provided such things first.
  • Commitment/Consistency: People are more willing to be moved by a leader if they see the change as consistent with a commitment they have previously and publicly made.
  • Authority: The particular combination of expertise and trustworthiness renders a leader the most persuasive communicator science has ever uncovered.
  • Social Proof: People are more willing to perform a recommended action if a leader provides evidence that many similar others are performing it.
  • Scarcity: People find recommended opportunities more attractive to the degree that a leader can honestly position them scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.
  • Liking: People say yes to the leaders they like. Dr. Cialdini’s presentation illustrates how these six principles have been and can be harnessed to meet specific influence objectives.

Dr. Cialdini emphasizes the non-manipulative use of the principles so that those who are influenced feel personally committed to the new direction and to their relationship with the leader. It is only in this fashion that the influence process can be simultaneously effective, ethical, and enduring. And it is only in this fashion that it can enhance a lasting sense of partnership between those involved.

The Power of UNITY

With The Power of Unity, Robert Cialdini artfully braids science together with meaningful and moving personal accounts to produce a set of compelling lessons for business success.

This unique presentation explores what scientific research demonstrates about the ability of certain relationships to facilitate our goals. Dr. Cialdini skillfully interprets the implications of these relationships both inside and outside the organization.

Audience members learn the answers to such questions as: What can change rivals to make them want to work together? What can make seemingly unrelated, angry people bond together to accomplish meaningful goals? What can make a negotiation more satisfying and come to fruition faster? What simple statement can lead to Unity? What simple request can do the same? And, how can this be accomplished ethically and effectively in business settings? Dr. Cialdini explores and answers these questions and more in this unique program.

The Power of Unity shows how to develop, engage, and focus relationships for optimal working success.

PRE-SUASION: Opening The Door To Persuasion

The author of the legendary best-seller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

What separates ordinary communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to capitalize on the essential window of time before you deliver an important message. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal presuasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

In this program, Dr. Cialdini draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time to illustrate how the Pre-Suasion process works and how it can be used in your organization. He explains the techniques a person can implement, ethically, to become more influential both professionally and personally. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary. All that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.

By attending this program, participants will:

  • Learn what pre-suasion does to make persuasion even more powerful.
  • Learn how you can use pre-suasion ethically to be more persuasive.
  • Learn how to recognize and deflect unwanted pre-suasion.

INFLUENCE DURING TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

In today’s uncertain environment, effective and ethical influence is necessary, pertinent, and now, more than ever, vital to success.

During this profound presentation, Dr. Robert Cialdini briefly reviews the six research based universal principles of influence. He then focuses on those principles which are most effective under conditions of uncertainty. Those who learn how to apply these principles gain powerful leverage to bring about positive and lasting change in others, both inside and outside of their organization.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the groundbreaking books, Influence, and Pre-Suasion, is your guide in translating highly relevant but poorly-understood scientific research into practical business applications. His books have sold more than five-million copies worldwide. Dr. Cialdini is the world’s leading authority on influence and his widely acclaimed studies are highly instructive to those who want to be more influential.

After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize and use each of the universal Principles of Persuasion
  • Understand the conditions under which uncertainty dominates decision making
  • See how uncertainty can be harnessed to produce optimal influence
  • Avoid mistakes that can unwittingly sabotage influence attempts
  • Identify which principles work best under conditions of uncertainty
  • Identify which aspects of these principles should be highlighted for greater persuasive success

News


Building Relationships And Influencing People: Part 2
Building Relationships And Influencing People
Council Post: It's Time To Refresh Your Approach To Influence
In "Harnessing the Science of Persuasion," Dr. Robert Cialdini said, "Playing the ' Because I'm the boss' card is out...Persuasion skills exert far greater influence ...
Your Colleagues Don't Read Anything You Write. Here Are 8 Ways ...
... that people want more of what they can have less of,” said Robert Cialdini, ... To see this principle validated, you can check out Dr. Cialdini's supermarket ...
Kafer: Perceived scarcity empties shelves
In his bestselling book Influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini, describes social proof as the propensity of people to look to others to determine correct behavior. The greater ...

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