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The Secret of Being Persuasive

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Being persuasive is an art. It's a matter of convincing others to see your point of view. It can help you to sway the opinions of those you work with so that they support you in whatever endeavor or argument you have taken on.


The secret to being persuasive is about both the physical and verbal message you send to your listener in order to influence how they think. And it can be summed up in the word credibility. You need to be credible to persuade those around you.

Here are eight steps to the secret of being persuasive.

Act like you mean it. Your behavior – your stance, your posture, your gestures – all say a lot about who you are and how you feel about your subject. Exude confidence by showing confidence – stand up straight, make eye contact, and be enthusiastic without being overly animated.


Give something first. Experts agree that most of us are willing to reciprocate for even a small or unrequested favor. To persuade others they need to feel as if there's a reason, and giving back is a good way.


Build trust and credibility. Understand your subject and be able to speak about it knowledgeably. Don't come to the party underdressed. Be prepared in advance so you can point out highlights and address concerns. Be sure to include the benefits.


Know your approach. Some experts suggest telling a story to win your audience or to appeal to authority, emotion and reason. To appeal to authority, you have to assert your expertise; for emotion, tap into their sense of excitement; and for reason, win them over with facts.


Outline the specifics. Gather all the relevant information and numbers you can to support your request. Describe the desired outcomes – reduced turnover, increased productivity – and their importance. Explain the impact on time, budget and bottom line.


Make the presentation sing. Using words that present a clear picture and engages the audience helps to bring your concept alive. Make sure to talk the talk by personalizing the message and using words they can relate to.


Make it convenient. Don't expect everyone to give up everything to listen to you and your great idea unless you have set aside specific time when it is convenient and your audience is receptive.


Deal with the response. You may not get an automatic 'yes'. You may have to be patient while your boss and/or coworkers think it over. Or you may get an immediate 'no'. It depends on how your request or suggestion impacts them. Be willing to wait for an answer or ask for an explanation if your idea is rejected.


The whole goal behind persuasion is to convince your audience to embrace your argument. By taking time to gather your information and presenting your ideas in a convincing manner, you can find the secret to persuasion.

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