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Article: Convince Your Boss to Get Standing Desks via a Scientifically Persuasive Presentation

finger pointing to notebook screen in office meeting

Convince Your Boss to Get Standing Desks via a Scientifically Persuasive Presentation

 How Can I Convince My Boss To Get Me A Standing Desk?

finger pointing at notebook screen in office meeting


Do I Need A Standing Desk?

The lifelong health benefits of using a standing desk makes it a staple in designing and building an ideal work environment. Not merely a passing fad, it is a must-have for anyone who spends a great deal of time working in front of the computer. In fact, even workers who do not use computers will benefit as much from using these ergonomically designed workstations.


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How Do I Tell My Boss I Need A Standing Desk?

Given all these proven advantages, you might think that convincing your boss to replace your traditional workstations is a cinch. Although true, detailing these facts alone will not be enough. He can nod his head in assent while murmuring, “Uhuh”.

But if you think he can fully comprehend how serious your proposition is, let alone agree to it…Well, you might have better chances if you just talk to a wall.

Effective Persuasion ≠ Small Talk

However, all is not lost. There is a scientifically-proven method you can wield and leverage in the conference room as you see fit. With it, you can redirect your boss’s attitude and behavior towards the topic in your favor.

This effective tool is a process that you can carry out efficiently provided you take the time to study and practice it well. It is called “effective persuasion”.

Simply put, persuasion will not be persuasion if it is not effective. Living up to the full context of its meaning requires learning and applying specific techniques. And this goes way beyond—and basically has nothing to do with—small talk.

The Science and Art of Persuasion has been widely practiced in the corporate world. A method executives have long used in delivering powerful sales pitches; it is also used in corporate presentations. So if you are going to propose the use of standing desks in your office, designing a highly persuasive presentation is your best bet.

Understanding the Art and Science of a Persuasive Corporate Presentation

Persuasive presentations differ in terms of “how persuasive” they are. To gain an upper-hand, design your presentation based on a scientific standpoint.

  • Using Visual Aids

Images make it easier to relay information. When you present a topic before an audience, using the right pictures to drive home a point allow them to easily absorb information. Consequently, it also helps them better understand your point of view and make intelligent decisions.

Just see to it that you choose your images wisely. Then, incorporate them strategically to emphasize your point, in this case, that you need a standing desk. Doing so highlights the advantages of accepting your proposition.

  • Telling a Good Story

Stories have always worked well in educating people of all ages. Colorful tales infused with informative, moral lessons teach kids about the world and importance of good behavior. As we mature, our minds develop. It becomes more capable of absorbing more complex data.

At will, adults like us can take in information even if it is not in story format. However, this will not draw us in and move us emotionally. This truth applies to your audience as well, including your boss.

To convince your boss of the importance of using an adjustable height standing desk, organize your information well. Make sure you get your facts straight. And this involves collating more than just random information from any source.

Once you have everything in place, come up with a good story that resonates with you and your colleagues. Use this as the framework for unifying your research.

Presenting your argument in a story format makes it easier for your audience to understand. What is more, it incorporates a specific emotion that allows them to not just see your point, but also empathize with your situation.


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Preparing a Fully Loaded Presentation No Boss Can Ignore: Focus on Absenteeism


The amount of research you put into your preparations says a lot about how serious you are. To add depth and impact, use statistical data and factual information backed up by research. Astounding figures will surely catch your boss’s attention.

Backed up by meaningful context and delivered persuasively, it may convince him to agree with your point of view. This is why you must invest in getting your act together. Without it, the chances of your creating a persuasive presentation are nil.

With regards to the type of data you can use, one of the strongest and data-proven fact you can use and weave into your story is absenteeism. Capable of greatly impacting team performance and productivity, it may be resolved via implementing effective ways to improve your office. One of them is by using stand up desk units.

If not addressed, over time, absenteeism can drag revenues down. From here onwards, everyone can foresee other potential troubles the company will run into should the situation persist. 

  • Absenteeism can cost companies over $10B losses every year.

According to CDC, each employee is estimated to absent himself for a maximum of two days on average yearly. Take note, however, that the number of days can still vary. It can still go up along with the risk factors and/or chronic disease.

On a national scale, experts have estimated that for each condition, companies lose over $2B every year. There are three risk factors (smoking, obesity, and being physically inactive) and two chronic ailments known to plague workers (heart disease and diabetes) that constitute these conditions. Doing the math, all these conditions combined total approximately $10B worth of probable losses.

Losses are even higher based on other findings…

Forbes - reports the findings of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The firm conducted a survey involving 94,000 workers from 14 major occupations in the US.

77% of the participants are diagnosed with a chronic health condition (asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity). The total loss resulting from their absences due to these ailments equaled $84B.

At this point, it is important to note that the figures can change depending on the type of industry. The greatest losses, however, stem from professional workers. This excludes teachers, nurses and physicians.

  • Team members become 29.5% less productive.

Team performance and productivity are two sides of the same coin. Picking up the slack due to absent coworkers adversely impacts employees’ performance. This occurs regardless of how skilled or productive an employee is.

Spark - shared the result of the studies conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). To make up for the missed work time, present colleagues are forced to do overtime.

In general, 47% of overtimes are filed to cover for the missed work of an absent employee. Coworkers who multi-task to make up for their colleague’s absence suffer from reduced productivity. The decrease is estimated to be around 29.5%.

Such incidents typically take place in understaffed firms. If one employee absents himself, his work is not put on hold until his return. During his absence, his coworkers are obliged to take on his duties. The added burden compromises their productivity and efficiency. The decline compounds depending on the number of days the said employee is absent.

  • Company profit margins are bound to take a beating sooner or later.

Losses from accumulated absenteeism can drag company profit margins down in two ways:

Profits margins decrease due to higher costs.

Although alarming, this consequence can be reversed if revenue increases. The accumulated costs of overtime pay and hiring contractual workers to make up for the lost work add to the overall expenses. In turn, this will drag profit margins down.

    Revenues go down when employees with designated roles are not around.

    Every member of the team plays a specific role critical to growing the company. In their absence, overall revenue will eventually suffer. Regardless of what the specific position of the employee is, whether in sales or production, his absence disables him from performing his responsibilities. In turn, this adversely impacts the company’s revenue. 

    High Quality, Ergonomically Designed Standing Desks to the Rescue

    Because you and your coworkers spend approximately 35-40 hours toiling away day in and day out, using high quality desks is imperative. Getting units made of selected materials and crafted with care is not enough. To ensure comfort and convenience, using units built according to strict ergonomic standards is critical.

    But if you have to sit behind a desk all day…Truth be known that no amount of ergonomics can spare you from the troubles of sitting.

    “Sitting is the new smoking” is not just media hype. Various medical researches have proven the many ill effects of staying glued to seats for hours on end.

    Employees who spend countless hours sitting while working the whole day are the primary casualties. Over the years, the lack of movement has taken its toll on their health.

    Do you feel stiff after a few hours of working? Or do you suffer from back pain every now and then? These tell-tale pains may indicate that it is high time you start replacing your furniture with standing desks. To better understand their benefits, check out this dreadful fact about prolonged sitting featured on Scientific American:

    Findings showed the results of an investigation featured in Circulation Journal. The study involved observing 8,800 adults in a span of seven years. Results showed that couch potatoes (adults who spend over four hours in front of the television) are prone to expiring sooner than those who do it for two hours or less.

    Their risk is an alarming 46% higher than their counterparts. Other researches featured in the same periodical revealed that sitting over 12 hours each day doubles an individual’s risk of contracting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 


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    Using Sharp Persuasive Presentation Skills to Your Advantage

    Delivering persuasively before an audience is a vital skill that no one can acquire over night. Taking these corporate presentation tips to heart puts you at a definite advantage.

    • Write down your specific objectives.

    Before you start researching, identify your specific objectives for making this presentation. Of course, it is a given that your aim is to persuade your boss to get sit stand desk units for your team. Apart from this, note down the specific ways detailing why this is so. Arrange your slides in a way that demonstrates a fluid story that will meet these objectives.

    • Come up with a “compelling but realistic” story worth telling.

    Fact: Extensive corporate exposure has long programmed your boss to sit through countless boring meetings year in and year out. Truth: As much as he wants to absorb every single presentation, like everyone else, only the most compelling and relevant deliveries sink in.

    The bottomline? Present your proposal in the most effective and creative way possible. And what better way to do this than to create a moving story that connects and highlights credible information validating your point.

    Coming up with an emotionally charged tale worth your boss’s time is not as hard as you think. You don’t have to be too cheesy that he’ll end up bawling by the time you finish. Nor do you have to be too robotic that he may end up storming out of the conference room 5 minutes into your presentation.

    • Tell how you came to realize that your office needs standing desks.

    Backing up your proposal with charts and diagrams is a good move. Boost it by explaining why your proposal matters. Share how you came upon the realization. Your first-hand experience puts in you the position to recommend standing desks.

    Why? You yourself have gone through the same problems arising from the use of sitting desks. To further strengthen your claim, include factual and experiential information from your colleagues.

    • Incorporate the data into your story strategically.

    Oftentimes, presenters make the mistake of cramming all data into one slide. Moreover, they cram too much of it at once. So by the time they discuss them, everything they say is reduced to incomprehensible babbling no one will absorb, let alone recall after the presentation is over.

    Remember: no matter how much or alarming your data is, if you do not deliver them effectively, they are rendered useless. And the best way to do this? Avoid over-saturating your story with data.

    Use data wisely by interspersing them into your story strategically. Firstly, you have to arrange them based on importance. The ones that prove your point the most should be first priority and so on and so forth. Then, depending on how your story unfolds, use each datum to strengthen and validate your point.

    • Present your data simply and directly.

    Using flowery or highfalutin words to explain your data may catch and hold your boss's attention. It might confuse him and snatch his attention away from your topic, too.

    Uncommon or unfamiliar words are like bumps on the road. They can cut your momentum and disrupt your audience's focus. For a good presentation, presenting valid and directly relevant data that supports your point suffices.

    • Beef up your information with the right context.

    A good way to give your data a boost (without altering anything) is to compare it with previous findings. Doing so will intensify its significance .

    In your slide/visual aid, make sure to highlight these changes visually. As you present, provide a thorough explanation detailing what happened and why or how it came about. Then, make sure to connect it with the need for adjustable desk units in your office. 

    “Your Key Takeaway” Worthy of a Standing Ovation

    Convincing your boss to get standing desks for your office not only answers a pertinent need that will benefit your team and company in the long run. It also shows that you are a sincere and proactive team player with strong leadership quality.

    By suggesting the use of these ergonomically designed, healthy workstation, you show your genuine concern for your team's welfare, not just your own. Such display of selflessness in the workplace highlights your forward-thinking attitude. Consequently, it is also a wise move towards fulfilling your career development goals.

    Learning these corporate presentation tips hones your professional skills further. Not only have you succeeded in taking that huge step towards promoting your and your teammates' great health should your boss approve your proposal. But you also advance your career development.

    By and large, making this proposal and presenting it to your boss raises your chances of moving up the corporate ladder. To get ahead, you need to do more than just rely on your talents and skills. You need to leverage your assets by working them into a concrete career development plan that will deliver results.

    As with all good things that promise long-term benefits, this is something you need to invest in. It may take a while, but even if things do not turn out exactly the way you want it, truth be known that you will emerge triumphant nonetheless. 



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