Archive: Persuasion

Writing that Persuades: Urge the Audience to Expect Regret

To persuade someone to do (or not to do) something, suggest that she consider a possible negative outcome. Expecting regret can bring compliance. Pretend you sell car insurance, and you urge a customer to buy a policy. It’s possible he will decline, even if he...

Persuasive Writing: Overcoming Resistance to Your Message

If you want to persuade someone to say yes, improving the positive features of your offer is not the only way to overcome resistance. When people make decisions, they often have mixed feelings because there are pros and cons to almost everything. So they balance the...

Persuasive Writing: Make the Message Relevant

If you are trying to persuade someone in a written message or speech, they need to carefully consider your position. And for them to take the time to do it, the issue must be personally relevant. Social psychology experiments show that persuasion does not occur when...
Tapping the Audience’s Emotions: A Key to Persuasion

Tapping the Audience’s Emotions: A Key to Persuasion

Aristotle said that to be persuasive, you must have the ability to move an audience emotionally, because people often do not make decisions logically. As I mentioned in a recent post, one way to tap emotions is through flattery. Another tactic is to ask for things in...