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What It Means to Be Persuasive

Updated on November 4, 2017

Being persuasive is a very useful skill to possess. It is more often than not a process rather than a destination to be reached. Most people who want to do things or get things done by others end up failing in their efforts because they are not persuasive enough in the way they speak. Know that there are things you can do to be a more persuasive speaker.

Build Trust

Persuading someone to do or believe something will be impossible if you don't have their trust. Make sure you have someone's trust before making requests to them. Trust takes a long time to build, but it is easy to destroy in a second. Be careful about how you speak. If you are known to be a gossiper, chances are you will not be trusted.

Don't Be Too Forceful / Desperate

If you are too forceful or desperate in your request, you will almost certainly fail. Take it easy. Don't behave as if the other person's help is indispensable. Of course, it is important to value the effort the person is about to make for you. But don't go overboard.

Don't be all pushy when you know you are getting nowhere. Be aware of when exactly to abort your mission.

Don't Make Assumptions

If you plan on asking something of someone, don't make assumptions about him or her before you you actually get down to making the request. More-often-than-not, people make incorrect judgements because they make wrong assumptions about others.

Be Confident in Yourself

A person who lacks self confidence cannot be persuasive. If you don't trust yourself to be successful, how can you expect someone else to believe the things you say?

Use Positive Language

If you want to be persuasive, you need to use positive language. What you say matters as does how you say it. Remember that words can be very powerful. Your words can either help your cause or impede it.

Use words the right way. Be aware of the things you say and how you say them.
Use words the right way. Be aware of the things you say and how you say them. | Source

Work Slowly

More often than not, persuasion takes a lot of time. This is especially true if you are trying to change a person's belief system. Have patience. Don't expect results overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day and your efforts will take time to bear fruit.

Avoid Sarcasm

When making a request or when asking someone to believe something, avoid being sarcastic. Being sarcastic when asking someone for something is a recipe for disaster. He or she will struggle to know how serious you really are. Also, the chances of you being misunderstood or seeming offensive are very high.

Do Favours For Others

If you want a favour to be done for you, you must be willing to help others once in awhile. You can't always have it your way. The people around you are not your personal secretaries. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Help, and you will be helped.

Be Realistic in Your Expectations

Do not go overboard with your expectations. Be realistic. If you have your head in the clouds, you will end up being a very disappointed person. Avoid setting unreasonable deadlines by which you need a favour to be performed.

Don't Be Rude

If you are rude while asking something of someone, you are not merely setting yourself up for failure, but you are laying the groundwork for a PR disaster as well. Make sure you don't have an image as a rude person. Mature people know better than to be rude. They know that politeness is way more effective than rudeness in getting anything done.


A person who speaks more than he or she listens is setting himself or herself up for failure. If you want to be successful in persuading others, make sure you are willing to listen. Just making a request in a good way does not suffice. Knowing what the person who has been requested feels about the request is also very important.

Rejection is Okay!

Getting turned down every now and then is a part of life. Don't take rejection to heart. Keep moving. Keep trying. Keep improving! Cheers to life!

Persuasiveness won't always translate to success. When you encounter a setback, dust the failure off your coat and keep trying and improving.
Persuasiveness won't always translate to success. When you encounter a setback, dust the failure off your coat and keep trying and improving. | Source

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