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Adjust your rate of speech

  • If your audience is likely to disagree, speak faster. It gives them less time to form their own counterarguments and you have a better chance of persuading them.
  • If your audience is likely to agree, speak slower. It gives them time to evaluate your arguments and factor in a few of their own thoughts.

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Research shows humans prefer cockiness to expertise. We naturally assume confidence equates with skill.

So stop saying, "I think" or "I believe." Stop adding qualifiers to your speech. Stand behind your opinions--even if they are just opinions--and let your enthusiasm show. People will naturally be more persuaded.

Gaining agreement has an enduring effect, even if only over the short term. So instead of jumping right to the end of your argument, start with statements or premises you know your audience will agree with. Build a foundation for further agreement.

Tossing in an occasional--and heartfelt--curse word can actually help instill a sense of urgency because it shows you care

Authenticity is always more persuasive. And if you feel strongly enough to slip in a mild curse word, feel free. 

Always know your audience. Don't push for instant agreement if someone's personality style makes that unlikely. But don't ask for thought and reflection if your audience loves to make quick decisions and move on.

Sharing an opposing viewpoint or two is more persuasive than sticking solely to your argument.

The people in your audience are more likely to be persuaded when they know you understand they could have misgivings. So talk about the other side of the argument--and then do your best to show why you're still right.

While it's tempting to use scare tactics, positive outcome statements tend to be more persuasive.

So if you're trying to produce change, focus on the positives of that change. Take your audience to a better place instead of telling your audience what to avoid.

As a general rule, men tend to feel competitive in person and turn what should be a conversation into a contest we think we need to win.

The opposite is true if you're a woman hoping to persuade other women. According to the researchers, women are "more focused on relationships," so in-person communication tends to be more effective.

Remarkably persuasive people understand how to frame and deliver their messages, but most important, they embrace the fact that the message is what matters.

Be clear, be concise, be to the point, and win the day because your data, reasoning, and conclusions are beyond reproach. And always use your persuasion skills for good, not evil.

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RELATED IDEAS

  1. Reciprocation: People will be nice if you are.
  2. Consistency: It’s easier to get people to comply with requests they see as consistent with what they’ve already said.
  3. Social proof: People will more likely say yes when they see other people doing it too.
  4. Liking: You comply with requests from people you like more than from people you don’t like. 
  5. Authority: Our tendency is to be persuaded by authority figures.
  6. Scarcity: If you offer people something rare or scarce, they are more likely to want it.

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IDEA

When people disagree with us we assume they are ignorant … that they lack information. So we try to convince them with information. It seldom works.

  • Persuasion appeals to the emotions and to fear and to the imagination. Convincing requires a spreadsheet or some other rational device.
  • It’s much easier to persuade someone if they’re already convinced, but it’s impossible to change someone’s mind merely by convincing them of your point.
Tell the Truth

In general, facts matter less than emotions when trying to persuade someone. People choose to believe information that matches what they already believe and avoid facts that might contradict them.

But they will get angry if you mislead them. And you will lose their trust. Accuracy matters. Make sure what you say rings true.