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By: Marcus Sheridan on October 1st, 2018

How to Speak and Teach by Using Questions to Persuade, Inspire and Induce Audience Self-Discovery

Our ultimate goal, as a speaker, is to move our audience. Well, where do you even start? How do you get your audience engaged and inspired by your words? It’s possible, even if there’s audience members who don’t even want to be there!

The greatest secret to influencing your audience is three words: the Columbus Principle. This simple, yet super effective principle lets your audience feel like the idea was theirs, that they discovered it first!

Your goal as a speaker isn’t outright telling them, but leading them, and helping them discover what you’re trying to tell them without actually saying it first. This moment of self-discovery is truly magic, and ultimately, will lead your audience to action.


In late 2009, Sheridan started his sales, Marketing, and personal development blog—The Sales Lion. He has since grown its brand to be synonymous with Inbound and Content Marketing excellence while being featured in multiple industry publications, including the New York Times where he was referred to as a “web Marketing guru.” Today, when Sheridan isn’t giving riveting and passion-filled keynotes around the globe or consulting with businesses and brands, he generally finds himself on an adventure with his wife and 4 children.

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