How to Persuade People

Do you feel the need to persuade someone for something from time to time? How do you do that? Imagine, your favourite theme park has finally opened in your city, but it is miles away. What is worse? The first five hundred visitors get a free pass to any three rides of their choice. But it is a school day. How do you get your parents to take you there? 

The key lies in the language that you use. Be it for an individual or a group of people, the art of persuasion through language is both subtly and overtly used. Let’s look at some examples below: 

1.     Rhetorical questions:

Did you know that a question is always more effective than just a plain statement? Did that make you think? Would you have had the same reaction if it was just a sentence? Are you imagining questions that could be more effective than simply stating the facts? Now do you agree that a plain statement is only passively telling you something without eliciting an action? (Do you also see how the reader has been mildly manipulated by these questions above?)

Reread the last paragraph. Do you see how questions are better than statements? It’s all about rhetorical Questions. They are questions that have obvious answers and it is the author’s way of getting a particular answer from the readers:

I think The Sandcastles is the best fair in the country.

Don’t you think that The Sandcastles is the best fair in the country?

Which according to you sounds better? Or yet, which will elicit the more favourable answer?

2.     Alliteration:

A melting pot of common and complex cultural cuisines that has a contagious effect on everyone that comes close and is constantly calling out to new connoisseurs.

The cry of a helpless puppy in distress can melt even the coldest heart. Warm up your home this winter by adopting a stray.

Did you have a second look at the above examples? Has anyone ever told you to make your language more beautiful, more flowery? Some writings catch more attention than the others. Undisputedly, metaphors and alliterations are at the centre of it. Attract viewers by adding beauty and attractiveness to your pieces. They are the highlights of any writing. They create a rhythm almost like music. Add some emotions to your sentences to bring home the point.

3.     Direct address: 

Imagine this: In a classroom, the teacher needs a volunteer to put up the decorations for the upcoming fair. 

She says, “Would anyone like to volunteer their time this afternoon?  

How many of you will raise your hands? 

What if she said this? “Would you like to volunteer this afternoon?” addressing a particular student. 

Now, would it be possible for the said pupil to say ‘no’? 

Direct address is another effective persuasive method that compels people to take the necessary action. It is all about the psychology of our minds, and all you need to know is that when you point out to a particular person, he/she is more likely to do it than when generally addressing a group of people.

4.     Statistics

Precise statistics and facts are another method to prove your point. It is a fact. It has been proven by established organisations. There can be no dispute regarding the factuality of it. So, use them while making a point:

In the UK alone, the average age of death of homeless people is 43-45 years old.

Advertisements on flyers are likely to attract 26% more customers than those on physical newspapers.

Do you see how precise statistics and facts are more attractive to the readers than simply stating something with vague ideas? Numbers look good on any kind of persuasive genres.

 5.     Rule of three or triples:

Thus, it is established that using the outdoors during a lesson can open the minds to new ideas, break the monotony of a walled classroom and give you a fresh perspective on the same topic.

The Summer School Fair will be fun, educational and memorable.

Three words or three ideas together will emphasise a point and make it memorable. Triples carry an idea forward with more gravity. They reinforce the point and make it sound good at the same time.

 That’s it for today! Now do you feel more confident about your writing techniques? Next time you want to subtly (or overtly) persuade someone, slip in these techniques and create magic!