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Using the Art of Persuasion to Market Oneself.....Does it Really Work?

Updated on February 19, 2012

Influence of Persuasion on People

Are you listening to me?
Are you listening to me? | Source

How can one persuade others and is it always easy?

According to Brehm, Kassin, and Fein (2005) there are two ways in which people easily persuade others. The first way involves a critical approach as an act or persuading others. With this approach it is the strength and power of the argument that acts as the conductor of persuading others. How strong the argument is presented makes or breaks the deal and there are many ways which this can be accomplished, according to Brehm, Kassin, and Fein (2005) and Boe (2004). First and foremost, a strong argument will be clear enough that the listeners can understand it. If the person who is attempting to persuade others is not clear then the chances for a successful speech are lower. Clarity holds the key getting people to take your side or jump on the boat.

However, this is not the only key component to persuasion techniques. Boe (2004) indicates that passion or an interest in the subject matter at hand is also another crucial element in effective persuasion techniques. Consider for example the speaker who is attempting to sell an unpleasant product (we have all seen these commercials on tv and let me tell you the person marketing the product is not persuading me). The person that generally markets these products might not always present him or herself as being enthusiastic (I mean they know they are getting paid no matter what). Thinking in terms of that would you be likely to buy the product? Probably not. So in the essence it is important that a person be passionate about what he or she is talking about.

Qualities of a Persuasive Person

The act of being effective at persuading others involves having a likeable personality and being inspirational (Brehm, Kassin, and Fein, 2005 & Boe, 2004). Many people listening to others are going to be more adept at following the advice of someone who is approachable, and likewise more influenced by them. You would not want to (and probably would turn of) the speaker who is very cold and aloof versus the speaker who is boisterous and approachable. As Boe (2004) states those speakers that are and have been most admired are the ones who inspire us to be courageous and go getters.

A good speaker and an effective persuader is someone that is able to think and talk in terms of metaphors (Boe, 2004). What does this mean? People like pictures and examples and are more likely to relate to the speaker that engages them through this method. The act of effectively persuading a person is to engage their attention by using good anecdotal stories and examples. The best way to illustrate this is to use examples and stories from ones own life. People like hearing your success story and the success you have had, as people can relate more to personal stories rather than third party validation.

As Boe (2004) indicates people are born with different temperaments. This being the case, it is vital for an effective persuader to approach each temperament in a different way. For instance, you might not approach an aggressive type the same way that you would a passive type. Boe (2004) recommends that the speaker engage each type by appealing to their unique personality types. For example, an aggressive type personality is more keen to ask questions and tend to be more results oriented (Boe, 2004). This is the person that wants to see what can be done, they want results. The key to persuading the aggressive is to focus on words that deal with control issues and results (ie. Power, challenge, money). However, with the passive personality you would not go in the same direction. One way to approach this group is to focus on their value for appreciation and suuport. Boe (2004) indicates that this type of personality is more likely to respond to words that focus on support, help, encouragement.

In conclusion, persuading people can be considered an art form of some sorts. Some people are born with the ability to be natural speakers. However, being a persuasive speaker is indeed something that everyone can work on through the development of the above mentioned skills.


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