8 DOs and 7 DONTs in The Art of Persuasion aka Getting My Way!

rhetorical devices
narrative transportation theory

But arguments, per se, are only one part of the equation. They attempt to make their case with an up-front, hard sell. Managers strongly state their position at the outset, and then through a process of persistence, logic, and exuberance, they try to push the idea to a close. In reality, setting out a strong position at the start of a persuasion effort gives potential opponents something to grab onto—and fight against.

transportation theory

You would go the extra mile in your preparation to include facts and evidence on how your idea is different and better than the one your boss experienced before. At some point, you will need to either pitch your idea, negotiate some contract or decline some tasks. Your success at any or all of these situations will largely depend on your ability to influence someone or some group so that they see things from your perspective, and consequently accept your proposal. Failure to hone this skill will leave you feeling frustrated, defeated or disappointed more often than necessary. Finally, being persuasive in the longer run also requires being open to being persuaded. Credibility is built through consensus, which shall remain in your favour if you are perceived as rational instead of domineering and democratic instead of dogmatic.

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The anger and vitriol and division all around us seem to suggest the need for more dialogue as a path to healing. This has been a reality for millions of us in recent years. There are so many outrages all around us, 24/7—shocking legal infractions, barbaric comments, brazen power grabs. In an age of division, we tend to assume that people on the far side of an issue from us are fervently committed to that stance. We know ourselves to be complicated and torn, subject to all sorts of doubts, but we deny others that complexity.

  • In conflict, people turn to those in control of their emotions, and trust them in those moments to lead them.
  • In a study conducted by Egon Zehnder, 79 per cent of respondents said that a company could only undergo successful transformation if the person at the helm also engaged in self-renewal.
  • At the heart of framing is a solid understanding of your audience.
  • This societal standard makes reciprocity extremely powerful persuasive technique, as it can result in unequal exchanges and can even apply to an uninvited first favor.
  • This allowed conspiracy theories an opportunity to slither in.
  • Narrative transportation theory proposes that when people lose themselves in a story, their attitudes and intentions change to reflect that story.

But be careful – don’t resort to empty praise, because that will only undermine your efforts. To appeal to emotions, cite your evidence by using evocative, illustrative language, and channel your inner Hemingway to tell a story. In a Harvard Business Review piece, famed screenwriter Robert McKee says that the best CEOs and business leaders know how to tell a good story.

One example of a view that is counter to the prevailing Australian view on the US/Australian invasion of Afghanistan is that of Australian artist and film maker George Gittoes. Banksy’s street art often has a cynical, questioning view of the world. One thing of note that they show is the German side of the war – similarly depicted to the British view, but from a German perspective. War posters can be to promote the rightness of a particular side in a war, to recruit fighters or workers to the war effort, to educate the populace as to how to behave in war or, alternatively, bu anti-war. Advertising – propaganda to sway the target audience to form an opinion, and to gain some advantage to the advertiser .

Why The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Say No

In reality, almost every aspect of business includes some level of persuasion. When leaders fail to successfully master the art of persuasion, their businesses often fail. It is impossible to create a following, a customer base, or a strong team without having others support and believe in you and your product. Here are three tips that can help you to become a master in the art of persuasion. Finally, I selected a group of 14 managers known for their outstanding abilities in constructive persuasion.

  • Before the process begins, effective persuaders use dialogue to learn more about their audience’s opinions, concerns, and perspectives.
  • With his initiative positioned anew, the manager persuaded the president and got the project approved.
  • The teacher was instructed by the study supervisor to deliver an electric shock from a panel under the teacher’s control.
  • Once these two formative bases are covered, it is important to understand the nuances of being persuasive.

No effort to persuade can succeed without emotion, but showing too much emotion can be as unproductive as showing too little. The important point to remember is that you must match your emotions to your audience’s. The analogy they selected, however, made BOB’s purpose both concrete and memorable. Numbers do not make an emotional impact, but stories and vivid language do.

The Force of Persuasion

You can’t be bookkeeping servicesed in the art of persuasion and be a skilled communicator if you are not a good listener and an ardent observer. Finding out background information is not about digging into another person’s private life. What you want to find out is how any previous experience, exposure, and education would impact how that person receives your information. Armed with this knowledge, you would aim to ensure they would have a positive experience and you would present your ideas in a way that you alleviate the fear of them thinking they would have the same negative experience. The art of persuasion is a skill that is important to have in today’s world.


When we detect conflicting cognition, or dissonance, it gives us a sense of incompleteness and discomfort. For example, a person who is addicted to smoking cigarettes but also suspects it could be detrimental to their health suffers from cognitive dissonance. Conditioning plays a huge part in the concept of persuasion. It is more often about leading someone into taking certain actions of their own, rather than giving direct commands.

If you lack confidence when you are expressing your ideas, people would feel you are incompetent. You would not persuade anyone if you are not confident or if you don’t look confident. Observing how they communicate verbally and non-verbally also would give you an insight into how to engage with them. For example, if you are meeting with a client and you observe that they have an indirect approach when communicating, don’t be too direct with them. If you do, they may perceive you as egotistic and difficult. You won’t be able to influence this individual because they don’t like your style of communication and frankly they don’t want to work with you.

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In most cases, that exercise helps people discover that they have some measure of weakness, either on the expertise or on the relationship side of credibility. The ideas behind this article spring from three streams of research. Once people have been bombarded with messaging on a certain topic, “your message is going to struggle to have influence in that cacophony of voices”, Willer says. At that point, the best chance to impart the message has passed.

The Art of Persuasion in a Polarized Age

I share with the group the challenges I faced and how the strategies I teach helped me. As a business owner or a manager, don’t compare how your employees communicate with yours. Poor performance may be a result of communication differences. Before passing your judgment on how your staff performs consider if you are communicating with them effectively. Finding out background information works in an interview as well. You want to know whether you need to differentiate yourself from the previous person’s image or you want to point out the similarities you have with the former employee.

ability to persuade

To figure this out, business leaders should talk with a few key members of the team to get an “emotional read” on the group, and then use that feedback to inform their persuasion techniques. While Keith and Lundberg do go into detail about the different intricacies of persuasion, they do explain that lapses in logic and or reasoning could lead to persuasive arguments with faults. The last step to mastering the art of persuasion is to give plenty of praise. When you simply shoot people and their ideas down, they begin to feel unimportant and pushed to the side, and tend to then focus on nursing their hurt egos instead of focusing of what you are saying. By praising the person on the things that you do like about them or their idea, you are inherently making yourself more likeable in their eyes. As research shows, being more likeable means that you are more likely to be listened to, and the other person is more likely to be influenced by you.

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Product placement – embedding a message in another product – e.g. Actors using a particular product, or brand, particular artists’ work on lifestyle make-over shows etc. This familiarises the concept, product, political thought etc. Picasso Guernica, a blatantly anti-war image – which was commissioned by the then socialist Spanish government. This topic explores the relationship between propaganda, art works and advertising. As I was reporting The Persuaders, one of the most meaningful lessons I learned came from the political communications expert Anat Shenker-Osorio.

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Make sure everyone gets a turn to contribute their opinion in meetings and observe how they express their opinion and ideas. Requesting a brief summary of what you agreed on in the meeting is helpful so that everyone has a clear understanding of the next steps would be. It would give you an insight into what people got from the meeting and provides an opportunity to clear misinterpretations. Even though you have heard their responses observed their body language, never assume you understand what they are thinking.

In finding the appropriate language to use, develop a style that is natural for you. Classic literary authors, such as William Faulkner, provide excellent examples of linguistic style that can make arguments sizzle. Voice inflection, visual presentations, and your choice of language can appeal to emotion; but be careful that you don’t overdo it. Say, “You’re welcome, and…” When thanked, most people respond, “You’re welcome.” But to make your response more powerful, add, “I know you would do the same for me.” This invokes the psychological principle of reciprocity.