Persuasion is an art. When you're making a presentation pitch for funding or donations, the landscape can become competitive. When I was on the board for New York Center for Interpersonal Development, a non-profit, we made a lot of presentations to solicit donations. In typical fashion, these presentations involved showing the history of the organization, the mission, a video presentation, and highlighting the non-profit's results. The executive committee and board members would speak on behalf of the organization and would try to persuade potential donors to support their cause.
At one point, we discovered the most potent, powerful means of persuasive presentations. No matter how eloquent we thought we were, we were not as successful as the time we gave the floor to a couple of teenagers who spoke about their experience. Instantly, people started reaching into their pockets. Our mantra became, "Shut up and let the kids speak."
JDRF, a non-profit dedicated to curing Type I Diabetes, has realized this powerful technique. Recently, I found this video of a 13 year old boy who will represent Pennsylvania at the 2013 Children's Congress. Take a look, and see for yourself why kids are the most persuasive presenters.