Whether you’re a beginning or advanced speaker and/or writer, you can always learn or freshen up on persuasive language techniques. Making a successful presentation of your argument can turn on very crucial details and get the audience to see your side quickly and painlessly.
Below is a helpful list of some of the best persuasive grammar and syntax techniques with examples to get your audience to follow your lead!
- Assumptive Adverb Opener: “Obviously, it works.” What better way to get someone to do something than to use an assumption?! When you present to others l
- Connection Language: Attaching and pushing away. Connect with your audience but just enough to keep them wanting more.
- Experiential Language: Talk about real experience. Everyone appreciates a personal story because humans are naturally inclined to connect with one another and thus build trust. See Udemy’s Pitch for Success Using Story-in Presentations course!
- Final Impact: Put the impact at the end of the sentence.
- Future Language: Using the future in persuasion.
- Hidden Commands: Burying commands in sentences. When you have listeners intrigued by what your speech, subtle commands can make a big impact.
- The Hook: Grabbing them. For some this might entail reciting an emotionally intense story or even a deepened, more serious tone.
- Intensifiers: increasing the emotional impact of a statement. See above.
- Money Words: Appeal to greed. Hey, this might work depending on who your audience is and what is your argument’s purpose.
- Object Focus: Focus on the object and let the subject slip by.
- Perceptual language: What you perceive, not what is.
- Possibility Language: Talking about what could be. Everyone loves to hope so give them some!
- Power Words: Words that have special meaning. Usually words that center around love, peace,
- The Power of Abbreviation: Short but powerful.
- Pre-apology: Sorry, but…
- Pre-thanking: Thank you for…
- Pronoun Language: I, you and so on add power.
- Punch Words: Words with impact.
- Sensory Language: Language that evokes senses. See, smell, touch, hear, taste.
- Short Sentences: Like this. That work. Of course.
- Superiority Words: That grab status.
- Temporal Language: Changing time and hence meaning.
- Trivializing Words: Deflating what others say. Addressing the opposing side of your argument then quickly knocking it down is a great way to push your viewpoint.
- Using Pauses: Adding power with very largely nothing. (www.changingminds.org)
We use persuasive language to convince others to agree with our facts, share our values, accept our argument and conclusions, and adopt our way of thinking. There are many different ways to persuade people whether in your writing or your public speaking. Take a look at these more general tips:
- Appeals: One persuasive technique is appealing to the audience’s emotions especially fear and desires.
- Evidence: Using evidence is very persuasive as it makes the reader see the author as knowledgeable and the argument as more logical or reliable.
- Attacks: Attacks on opposing views, or the people who hold them can persuade the audience by portraying views and beliefs which are contrary to the author’s contention as foolish, dangerous, uncaring or deceitful. Using humor to make fun of these views can be particularly persuasive.
- Inclusive and Exclusive Language: Inclusive language such as “we”, “our”, “us” and exclusive language such as “them” can persuade by including the reader, or by creating a sense of solidarity or a sense of responsibility.
- Rhetorical Questions: Rhetorical questions are questions that do not require and answer and are asked for effect only. They engage the audience and encourage them to consider the issue and accept the author’s answer, or imply that the answer is so obvious that anyone who disagrees is foolish.
- Cause and effect: arguments may claim there is a cause and effect relationship when really there is just a relationship and other factors should be considered.
- Analogy: Analogy is a form of reasoning which compares one thing with another in order to make a particular point.
- Generalizations: Make sweeping statements about a whole group, based on only one or two members of that group. These can be persuasive if the audience believes the generalization is appropriate, but can undermine argument if they do not.
- Humor: Humor, such as puns, irony, sarcasm, satire and jokes can be persuasive by dismissing opposing views, providing a more engaging and friendly tone, and sway an audience by having them enter into the joke.
- Jargon: By using specialized terms, you can persuade the audience that they are an expert.
Our last set of techniques involve smoothing out the rough edges with these tried and true strategies:
- Reasons Why: One thing I was taught early on is the power of the word because. Psychological studies have shown that people are more likely to comply with a request if you simply give them a reason why, even if that reason makes no sense.The strategy itself does make sense if you think about it. We don’t like to be told things or asked to take action without a reasonable explanation. When you need people to be receptive to your line of thinking, always give reasons why.
- Consistency: Consistency in our thoughts and actions is a valued social trait. We don’t want to appear inconsistent, since, whether fair or not, that characteristic is associated with instability and flightiness, while consistency is associated with integrity and rational behavior. Use this in your writing by getting the reader to agree with something up front that most people would have a hard time disagreeing with. Then rigorously make your case, with plenty of supporting evidence, all while relating your ultimate point back to the opening scenario that’s already been accepted.
- Social Proof: Looking for guidance from others as to what to do and what to accept is one of the most powerful psychological forces in our lives. It can determine whether we deliver aid to a person in need, and it can determine whether we muster the courage to kill ourselves. Obvious examples of social proof can be found in testimonials and outside referrals, and it’s the driving force behind social media. But you can also casually integrate elements of social proof in your writing, ranging from skillful alignment with outside authorities to blatant name dropping.
- Comparisons: Metaphors, similes and analogies are the persuasive writer and speaker’s best friends. When you can relate your scenario to something that the reader already accepts as true, you’re well on your way to convincing someone to see things your way. But comparisons work in other ways too. Sometimes you can be more persuasive by comparing apples to oranges (to use a tired but effective metaphor). Don’t compare the price of your home study course to the price of a similar course—compare it to the price of a live seminar or your hourly consulting rate.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: This is a persuasion theme that works as an overall approach to making your case. First, you identify the problem and qualify your audience. Then you agitate the listener’s pain before offering your solution as the answer that will make it all better. The agitation phase is not about being sadistic; it’s about empathy. You want the listener to know unequivocally that you understand his problem because you’ve dealt with it and/or are experienced at eliminating it. The credibility of your solution goes way up if you demonstrate that you truly feel the prospect’s pain. (www.copyblogger.com)
In addition to all this information, Udemy’s course on speaking smoothly and confidently can add the final polish to any speech.