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practice gre questionsYou use your powers of persuasion every day. You have to persuade others to your way of thinking. You need to persuade your significant other to make dinner tonight, or you have to persuade your kids to stay quiet. No matter the situation, you will consistently have to convince others why they should do things a certain way. As you probably already know, that is not always so easy. Nonetheless, you can get better, and fast. One way is by attempting to write and deliver a persuasive speech. Your goal is to sway your audience so that they agree with your train of thought. You want to present a prevailing argument while capturing the attention of your audience, as well.  In fact, you can learn the power of persuasion more quickly than you think. If you need guidance, below is a list persuasive techniques to help you achieve your goal.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

When you consider the science of psychology, you start to understand the value of repetition. You cannot get your audience to agree with you if they do not understand what you are saying. On the other hand, you do not want to become the annoying parrot that people start to tune out. So, what you should do is make your point in different ways. To illustrate, you can start by conveying it directly, then use an example, a quote from a famous person, and then state it again in your conclusion.

Make it Emotional

What separates humans from most of the animals are emotions. At our core, we are emotional beings. We experience fear, love, pain and joy, many times all in the same day. You want to trigger feeling and sentiment. This allows people to feel more comfortable connecting with you because they can relate. For instance, say you want to talk about the importance of having your pet neutered. You can talk about the thousands of sad, homeless cats who cannot find a home because there are not enough people who have the means to care for them.

Appeal to Moral Standards

Most individuals have beliefs about what they think is right or wrong. One person might favor doing whatever makes them happy regardless of the expense, while others might view that as irresponsible. Either way, you can tailor your persuasion to the individual’s sense of right and wrong. Ask questions, such as “Can we stand by while millions of teens are being forced into arranged marriages?”

Explain Why

Studies have shown that people are more willing to adhere to your plea if they know the reason behind it. This is true even if the reason is nonsensical. Think of how you feel when someone tells or asks you to do something without telling you why. You might feel a bit disrespected. However, once they tell you why, you probably feel more amenable to complying with their request, right? If you own a startup, you definitely need to learn how to sell your idea. You might then start to see the dividends multiply as a result of all of your hard work.

Keep it Relevant

Have your audience in mind when presenting your case. If you are speaking to a group of bakers, you probably will not have much success talking to them about the benefits of staying away from baked goods. They might tune you out. So, determine what makes them tick. If you have teenagers for an audience, you might have to appeal to what they would consider “cool.”

Use Authority

You do not have to be an expert in order to be persuasive. However, it helps to make use of authoritative facts and figures. So, to help you become more persuasive, cite credible figures such as stating, “According to the Harvard Law Review,” or “Google engineers recommend” and so on.

Stay the Course

It is critical to appear consistent. People who are inconsistent with their thoughts and actions are considered “flighty,” “irresponsible” and “unstable.” On the other hand, consistent individuals are associated with traits such as, “being rational” and “having integrity.” So, if you keep your arguments consistent, you will experience a lot more success in both the short and long term.

Provide Statistics and Facts

list of persuasive techniquesPeople can argue an opinion, but they cannot argue with statistics or facts. For example, “The U.S. GDP only grew 0.1 percent over the last quarter, while China’s grew by 7.4 percent.” or “Twitter’s stock dropped by 18 percent.” Moreover, there are expert online courses designed to help you become a powerhouse at the art of persuasion.

Make Comparisons

You can and should use metaphors, analogies and similes to get your point across and understood. This way, you can relate your view to something people already accept as true. You can compare the cost of a product to the cost of not purchasing that particular product and so forth.

Air and Refute Objections

It goes without saying that you will come across objections. You should not ignore them. If someone gives you an argument, it means they are interested enough in the topic to share their point of you. It also gives you the opportunity to overcome them. First of all, you want to keep it positive and on topic. Do not ever make personal attacks because then you lose all credibility. In order to address objections effectively, you need to study your subject matter thoroughly. You also need to study potential arguments that may come up.

Give Testimonials

Sometimes people have what is called the “herd mentality.” In other words, they tend to go with the herd. What can be more persuasive than your speech is providing testimonials of like minded individuals. Make sure these are real testimonials though. People are a lot more savvy when it comes to sorting out paid testimonials. In addition, allow them a way to contact your referrals if they have any questions.

Talk About the Future

Portrait of smart businessmen discussing new ideas at meetingYou can paint a picture of what life might be like if people accepted your argument and what it might be like if they didn’t. Of course, you have to be extremely credible with facts and figures to back up your claim; otherwise this technique can backfire. So, if you have the tools in addition to understanding your subject matter from top to bottom, this can be one of the most important on the list of persuasive techniques.

Tell a Story

This technique can combine all of the techniques you have learned. Who doesn’t love a good story, especially when it is true and relevant? If you can tell a good story, you are really helping people decide, for themselves, that you are right. If you are having trouble figuring out an enjoyable story, you can start by gaining an understanding of persuasive writing prompts.

By practicing and utilizing the above list of persuasive techniques, there is no question that you will soon have a group of converts in no time.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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