Persuade with Power

					Persuade with Power
                                                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
                                                                                 The ability to persuade people ­
                                                                                 getting them to understand,
                                                                                 accept and aet upon your ideas

T;      day we are bombarded by
      persuasive messages. Adver­
      tisements try to persuade us
to buy a particuJar brand of soft
                                        Sermons and commencement
                                        addresses faU into this category
                                        of persuasive speech. You'll learn
                                        more about this type of spee.ch
                                                                                 - is a valuable skill. Your
                                                                                 listeners will more likely be
                                                                                 persuaded if they perceive you
                                                                                 as credible, il you use logic
drink, coffee or antacid. Salespeople   in Project 10.
                                                                                 and emotion in your appeal, if
try to persuade us to buy an auto­                                               you carefully structure your
mobile, a personaJ computer or a         ~ Convince. You want your listen­       speech and if you appeal to
cellular tdephone. Vie do it too,       ers to change their opinions or to       their interests. Avoid using notes
by trying to persuade our spouses       develop tbe same opinion you             because they may cause
to vacation in the Bahamas, per­        have. You may not want them to           listeners to doubt your slncerly,
suade a salesclerk to refund our        do anything at the moment but            knowledge and conviclton.
money, or convince our boss that a      change their minds. A presentation
certain proposal is better,             convincing listeners that extrater­
   People who can speak per ua­         rest rial life exists is an example of            OBJECTIVES:
sively have a great deal of influ­      this type of speech.                      • Persuade listeners to adopt
ence, The ability to get others to                                                  your viewpoint or ideas or to
understand, accept and act upon          ~ Call them to action. You want            take some action.
your ideas is a skill you can use       listeners to do something 'lfter          • Appeal 10 the audIence's

every day at home, at work and          hearing your presentation, such as          interests.

in the community. It is also a          sign a petition, read a book or buy       • Use logic and emotion to

characteristic of a good leader.        a product.                                  support your position.

Throughout history people have                                                    • Avo d using noles.
rallied around those who can            Your Role
                                                                                 Time: Five to seven minutes
speak persuasively.                     Impressions count, and this is
                                        especially true in persuasive
Types of Persuasion                     speaking. While the content of
.In a persuasive speech, your           your message is important, of
 primary purpose is to influence        equal weight is tbe audience's
 the thinking or behavior of            opinion of you. Your listeners
 listeners. You can influence           must like, trust and respect you
 them in several ways:                  before Ihey will adopt your
                                        ideas. They should view you as
 ~ Inspire. Your goal is to excite      someone they can identify wit.h ­
your listeners about your topic         someone whose needs and
or reinforce their existing ideas       interests are similar to theirs.
or beliefs, not necessarily to alter    They base their opinion of you
their opinions or beliefs.              on your:




44     Compelenl CommUnlCQI on
 ~	Knowledge. You must be qualified to discuss           Burden of Proof
   the subject and offer evidence to support your        Changing people's minds is difficult. Your listeners
   position. You must know the ubject well and           think they already have a rational view of your
   be able to present plenty of evidence to support      subject, whatever that view may be. Your task is to
   your ideas.                                           provide the proof they need to change their minds.
~	 Reputation. Your reputation is based on your          You must arouse listeners' interest, help them to
   past performances, accomplishments and                a similate oew information into their existing
   honors. Make sure the audience is familiar with       knowledge and guide them into fonning new
   your qualifications through your introduction,        beliefs. The more help you can provide in the
   advance publicity or your speech itself.              process, the more successful you will be in
• Sincerity. You communicate your ideas with
            persuading your listeners.
   conviction and believe that what you are
                You already know about the, importance of
   proposing will truly benefit t.he audience.
          credibility in any speech. It's even mOre crucial in
   Audiences are naturally suspicious of anyone
         a persuasive speech. If listeners don't perceive you
   who is trying to change them in any way, so
          as credible, you will have difficulty persuading
   you must make it clear that you have their
           them to adopt your viewpoint or to take action.
   interests in mind and are not seeking their
          Two other factors also have a major influence on
   support for selfish reasons.
                         the audience:
•	 Delivery. If you appear timid. the audience wiU          Logic. 10 convince your audience you must
   be less l.ikely to accept your ideas. Speak firmly    provide evidence - outside sources that provide
   and confidently, and establish direct eye contact     proof or lend support to your position. Research is
   with listeners.                                       jovaluable in this respect. Your evidence and reason­
                                                         ing must be consistent and support your position.
The Audience                                                Emotion. Few people are persuaded by logic
The way yOll present your persuasive message will        alone. Emotions contribute a large part in people's
depend on who your listeners are and what                willingness to change their minds. Arousing emo­
attitudes they hold toward your subject. Your            tions such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, guilt
audience may be:                                         and love in listent:rs a.nd relating them to your
 • Agreeable. This audience already agrees with          subject is an effective tool.
   your opinion or viewpoint, so you simply have            Remember, listeners always want to know,
   to strengthen and reinforce this agreement.           "What's in it for me?" The most successful persua­
                                                         sive speeches answer this question. Build your
• Apathetic. Your listeners don't care about your
                                                         speech on points of major concern to the audience,
  subject or your views, so you must convince
                                                         not on your own concerns. For example. if you
  them that the issue directly affects them. This is
                                                         want to persuade the town council to build a walk­
  the most common type of attitude.
                                                         ing path along the riverfront, point out how the
•	 Hostile. The audience is opposed to you, your         townspeople and local bu ·inesses will benefit from
   subject and/or your viewpoint. You must help          the path instead of how the path will benefit you,
   listeners to recogn ize the merits of your po ition   an avid hiker.
   and make them reconsider their own views.
~	    Uninformed. Your listeners aren't apathetic;
      Organizing Your Message
      they just don't know anything about your
          Once you've determined your purpose and audience
      subject. You will have to educate them and
        and gathered information supporting your pur­
      convince them of its importance.
                  pose, you're ready to organize your presentation.
                                                         You can take one of several approaches.
• Mixed. The audience contains more than one

  of the above type. You must inform audience
           •	 Problem/solution. State the problem, then
  members and convince them of your subject's
              present your solution, explaining why it is the
  importance, the merits of your viewpoint and
             best one. Then discuss how to put the solution
  why they should reconsider their own views.
              into effect and what the audience can do to




                                                                              Comperenl Commun,corlon      45

                                                                                                                 ..

     contribute. For example, you could begin a                 4.	 Visualiz<ltion. Draw a pictme of future
     speech on local water pollul ion by lating that               conditions, intensifying audience commit­
     water pollut ion has increased dramatically in                ment to your position. Show how things will
     your community, and that la t year more than                  be if your solution is adopted or what might
     2000 fish died in the local lake because of it.               happen if it is rejected. "If this proposition
     Then follow with tile effed thi. pollution and                fails, our taxes will continue to escalate, and
     loss of fish have on the commun.ity. the ources               many people will lose their homes.'
     of pollution, )'OtH solution to tJ1C problem and           5.	 Action. Turn the agreement and cOlllmitment
     what listeners can do to help.                                 you've gained into positive action or
~	   Propositjon to proof. Begin with a tatement of                 attitude by your listeners. "Vote 'yes' on
     yOUT proposition, then follow \~ith proofs that                Proposition X."
     support it. For example. if your purpose is to
     persuade listeners to vote f r a propo aJ, you           Which ver approach you choose for your
     would begin by stating, 'Vote for Proposition A,      speech, don't neglect the opposition's po ition.
     which provides more money for our schools:            Refute their arguments, beginning with their
     then continue with reason and a strong closing        slronge t and concluding with their weakest.
     statement. In this pattern, you <He telling listen­   Listeners remember be. t what they hear last, so
     ers im.mediately what you want fTom th m.             they wiJI think the opposition's position is weak.
     Tws approach works best with audiences who            Consequently, tJle last point you make should be
     are agreeable, apathetic or uninformed, but it        the stronge t one because your audience is more
     could further alienate hostile listeners.             likely to remember it.
~	   Comparative advantage, Begin with a statement
                                                           Your Assignment
     of the problem. then identify po 'sible ..olutions
     and compare their respective advantage and            This project focuses on persua ion. You are to:
     disadvantages. Explilin y ur olution and show         ~    Persuade listeners to adopt }'our viewpoint or
     why it has mor advantage and fewer disad­                  idea or 10 take ome action. (Do not give an
     vantages Ulan the other.                                   inspiratjonal peech; this type of speech will be
~	   Motjv<lted sequence. Thi five- tep peech                   addre ed in Project 10.)
     structure. developed by Dr. Alan H. Monroe, a         ~    Analyze your audience and appeal to tbeir
     noted profes or of communications. c<ln b                  intere ts.
     adapted to almo t any t pic.                          ~    Use logic and elllotion to support your position.
     I.	 Attention. Seize the audience s attention         ~      rganil.e y m thoughts carefully and choo e
        with your opening and direct tJl.lt attention           words that will add power to your me ·age. se
        toward your topi ." ur rapidly escalating               body language and vocal variety to add even
        properly taxes are supporting a spending                mor impact. U e visual aids if they contribute
        spree b}' our government.'                              to your mes-age.
     2.	 Need. tate the exi tjJ1 need or problem           ~	   Avoid using notes; they may cause the audimce
         explaining why it' important to Ii teners.             to doubt your sinc rity, kno\\'ledge and
         "Property t, xes mtl t be lowered and gov­             convict ion.
         ernment spending brought under c nlral."
     3.	 Satisfaction. Pre en! y lIr solution t the           Incorporate appropriat uggestions from tbe
         need I' prabl 111, howing how it me ts            e (Iuations you received in previou peeche.
        the need or olve the problem. tlpport              As ,ou prepare your speech, thoroughly r earch
        your position with videnc. 'Proposition            your subject and review the Speaker's heckJi t
        X will rednce property laxe 3ncllimit              in Proje t I.
        government spending."




46       Comp len I Commun,,;or'OI1

				
DOCUMENT INFO