How to Communicate Persuasively as a Business Analyst


As a business analyst you will have to communicate internally and externally. Many channels and type of communication may be used. Except ensuring that all the parts have understood correctly the message as you have it in your mind, you need also to perceive what you are saying as important, correct and insightful. You need your communication effort to have impact and many times to trigger specific actions.

For example although a stakeholder that has decision making authority understands the message you are trying to transmit and the goal of the communication that is to gain approval in a change in the deadline for a deliverable still not being persuaded to approve it.

Communication is a bi-directional process. Is not just pushing information and expect that the other part will understand what you have in your mind. Communication is a dynamic process. Both parts receiver and sender shall be actively engaged in order to be on the same page.

Persuasion has to do with the perception of the importance of what you ae saying form the other part, the perception of the need to proceeding to a specific action and the accuracy and truthiness of what you are saying. Although the communication may be effective and the other part may have clear in his/her mind what you communicated still what you say may be perceived as useless and not have a real impact.

Being influential and persuasive needs time. Multiple interactions with the stakeholders progressively can lead to gaining trust, being perceived as a credible person who knows well the domain. In this way you will be able to persuade others and to influence them.

However though single communication events you can increase your persuasion and influence other the others.

The following four tips can help you towards achieving it:


1. Have a clear goal and expected results

Have clear in your mind the aim of the communication and the expected results. You have to be sure about what you should communicate and what not and what is the ideal response you are waiting from your audience.

You may have in your mind to gain approval, help or just to close a deal. Also note that sometimes the reason for the communication is just to elaborate a relationship between stakeholders and in this way to make future commitments from their side easier.


2. Understand your audience

Having a clear understanding on the communication preferences and style of your audience, their motives and their interests is crucial in order to adjust appropriate your communication style, the type of communication and the channels you are going to use.

Maybe a personal story will be more effective for a type of person who is not very analytical and process oriented. Presented the big picture and be enthusiastic about the future may be a good approach for a dominant, results – oriented type of stakeholder. Contrary a pragmatist will focus on logical arguments and Profs to make his decision.


3. Be perceived as confident

Being confident is perceived someone who has a calm and reassuring voice, a proper body language and of course knows what he is talking about.

The more practice you do before a communication and the more expertise you have in your domain the more confident you will look to others.


4. Be Authentic

Being authentic means you have figured out your strengths and weaknesses, you are ok with them and you have your own communication and “acting” style. Modifying your approach and style is ok but only to a certain level. You have to be true to yourself and others if you want to be persuasive.

Regardless your typical position in the organization and your authority still you can persuade and influence other. It needs time to build a long lasting relationship with stakeholders characterized by trust and mutual understanding. However, either through single communication event you can be influential and achieve your expected results.

 Author: Giorgos Sioutzos ITIL, CCBA, PRINCE2  – Business Analyst, Consulting Industry | CCBA

Giorgos Sioutzos is working in the business consulting industry as a business analyst. He has experience in projects from different sectors. He holds a BSc in Management Science and Technology from Athens University of Economics and Business and Msc in International Business & Management. Numerous articles about business and technology issues have been published in most reputable Greek and foreign media.



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