Have you ever found yourself in a terrible position where you simply can’t get someone to sway their decision? The art of persuasion has been a highly sought-after skill for most of human history.
The ability to be able to convince your peers to agree with you can revolutionize your life – no matter who you are. While it isn’t always possible to change people’s minds in some manners, there are some tricks you can try to increase your chances of success.
1. Be confident
Sure, it would be great if people had a preference for expert opinions, but it turns out there is one trait the general population looks towards more than expertise. Confidence. It doesn’t matter if you are completely right or experienced most of the time so long as you are (or act like) you’re confident. Make concrete statements and speak in an unwavering tone for the best impression.
2. Exude passion and emotion
You don’t want to just be confident though. It also helps to be passionate and emotional when you are trying to be persuasive. People are more likely to support you when you are somebody who seems to really care about what you are talking about. There is even some evidence to support the fact that cursing during a presentation of your idea can be a good idea because people associate the lack of professionalism with raw emotion.
3. Think fast
Another part of the puzzle which may have ties to emotion in the rate at which you speak. If you deliver your arguments very swiftly, you not only exude passion and confidence, but you make it a little harder for listeners to stop and question you. People can change their minds easier as they are caught in the moment or put on the spot. It is a great sales technique!
4. Get your foot in the door
If possible, you can also just try to get people to believe in you in incremental steps. Moderate changes allow for someone to slowly warm up to an idea. Consider it like the classic toad in a boiling pot example. Want to convince a toad it should be sitting in hot water? Well, if you turn the heat up all the way in the beginning, it will hop right out. However, if you only turn it up little by little, it won’t register the gradual change as intensely.
5. Know your audience
Don’t insult the intelligence of your audience. Understand that no matter how small a change is, if you are making (or overlooking) outlandish claims, people are going to be insulted rather than persuaded. Always take in the level of experience your listeners have when designing a platform.
6. Offer both sides of the argument
While it seems like some of the best tactics involve a little bit of manipulation, it’s actually a great idea to offer both sides of the argument. If something is too good to be true, it most often is. This is something that most mature adults realize – and is something you want to take into consideration. When you are giving and argument, it is best to be somewhat honest. Consider offering information on both sides of the coin. However, framing is key. Sandwiching is the ultimate technique for most complex social interactions. So, make statements by leading and ending with support, then having a negative thing in the middle. For instance – I think this product is superior to its competitor. Sure, the competitor is cheaper, but this product has higher quality!
7. Positivity wins overall
This is not the only place where you should try to frame things in a special way. Always conclude in a positive statement! It might seem small, but this does make a significant difference in how people perceive certain things. For example, instead of saying “You’ll stop failing” try something more optimistic like “You’ll succeed!” Same message, different delivery.
8. Have a good track record
If you have a bad reputation for leading your peers to defeat, you may not be leaving the impression you want. If you have a history of leading people into stupid hijinks that end up failing, you are going to have a hard time convincing people that going with you in the right thing. Think of it as an investment. Changing your mind is always a risk, would you rather take a risk on some guy who constantly leads people to fail or one with a clean track record you can trust.