1. Develop your critical decision-making skills.Decision- it pops up everywhere， from the simple choice of where to hold a staff meeting to the strategic options of where to spend marketing1 dollars. These decisions impact the people in the next cubicle2， but they may also affect a subsidiary halfway3 across the globe or an entire country.Decisiveness is not a trait we're born with -- it's a skill that can be learned. To master it， analyze4 your process of critical decision- biases5， we can shape the process that sets them in motion.2. Learn to make a solid argument.You may never address the United Nations Security Council or testify before Congress， but everyone should be ab -- in high-stakes conversations， in presentations， in question-and- with decision-makers or anyone else who represents a certain viewpoint or asks you to explain yours.To argue means to give reasons. It means defending and promoting your choices against the contrary arguments of equally adept6 influencers. Take what you've learned in school and build on that base with private instruction and directed reading on the relevant subject. You'll find that your ability to think critically and analyze others' arguments will dramatically increase your influence on their choices. a storyteller.Storytelling has been a premier7 tool in influencing people across cultures and eras. Influencers tell stories for strategic purposes. From motivating people to act， to teaching， to reducing resistance and changing minds， a well-told narrative8 is a formidable force， often far more powerful than the mere9 financial or technical facts.Numbers and figures are important， to showing their relationship to any issue， large or small， a strategic narrative wrapped around the digits10 will deliver the message better and more memorably11 than anything else.After you master the data， ask yourself: Is there a way to put a human face on my message? Are there real-life examples that will help me make my point in a way others can relate to?4. Hone your speaking skills. think of influential12 people， we often think of those who were great speakers， such as John F. Kennedy， Ronald Reagan and Steve Jobs， as well as contemporaries such as Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg. While many influencers operate effectively behind the scenes， those with the ability， the drive and the courage to speak persuasively13 have an additional source of powerful leverage14.Like decision-making skills， speaking skills are in high demand. Every day in myriad15， corporations and schools， vast numbers of presenters16 strive to capture the imaginations of workers and executives and students in order to drive an agenda forward. Yet many people fear speaking in public， and influence.Do not shy away from speaking opportunities. Hone your message and delivery skill by repeatedly putting yourself in front of an audience， gather feedback，， rinse17 18 as a natural part of learning and growing. Start in smaller settings first， and then build up from there. There's no limit to where your influence can grow with this skill.5. Have a basic understanding of current events.You can't have an intelligent conversation with your peers and clients if you're stumped19 when faced with everyday topics such as the election， taxes， budget deficits20， interest rates， markets， unemployment and the meaning of all these things to the average citizen. You don't need to be an expert on these topics， but you do need a basic understanding of them.Influence is about shaping opinion， and embarrassing holes in everyday knowledge -- the kind that force you to awkwardly steer21 conversations into friendlier waters -- can significantly dampen your 360-degree influencing efforts. To fill these gaps， set aside a particular time each day to learn what's in the news. Make it a daily habit. It will require no more than 20 minutes.6. Think like a leader. when it happens at the front of the pack. While influence can arise from any position， it is also from a position of leadership that it can make the most impact. develop their high-potential leaders from within. If you're lucky enough to work for a leadership- such as GE， IBM or P&G， you've got it made， on board with them and practice what you've learned. technology.It's the 21st century， and even 5 year olds know about Twitter， Facebook and the latest multimedia22 platforms. Social media have secured a big foothold and they're here to stay. If you don't have an ongoing23 or if you need a 19 year old to show you the ropes every time you log on to your website's forum24， you're behind.