How to Learn to Speak Persuasively Every week, The Village chooses one useful area of ​​knowledge and offers books, courses and lectures to help you dive into it yourself

The basics of belief are the most important area of ​​self-improvement for many people. It is necessary for professional self-development, for quickly and conflict-free achievement of your goals in communicating with loved ones and friends. These skills are simply decisive for those who work with clients, in service or sales. The degree to which such a specialist masters at least the basics of persuasion determines the level of customer satisfaction and sales volumes of goods or services, and, as a consequence, his own career growth and company income.

How to speak convincingly?

In order for each of you to be able to make your speech convincing , we have prepared a number of useful recommendations on how to better formulate your thoughts in such a way as to achieve your goals in the conversation and leave a favorable impression on the interlocutor. All of these are the basics of belief that will be useful to absolutely everyone, regardless of their field of activity and age. In order to better understand this topic, we have divided the question of how to speak convincingly into several blocks.

Where to study:

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We speak in a positive way

The basic principles of persuasion are the use of positive language . This sets you up for a favorable outcome and avoids unnecessary negative associations. Positive thinking and positive, persuasive speech are powerful tools for influencing your interlocutor. In this context, the following recommendations can be offered:

  • It is very important to avoid negative language, replacing it with neutral or positive language. The simplest examples: “This is easy to achieve” instead of “This is not so difficult to achieve”; “We will be able to stabilize our financial condition” instead of “We will be able to avoid bankruptcy.”
  • In the same way, a persuasive speech should contain as few “not” particles as possible. After all, you can always say “remember about...” instead of “don’t forget about...”, “don’t get me wrong” instead of “don’t get me wrong,” etc. It’s worth spending at least a couple of minutes analyzing your everyday speech, and you will see how many unnecessary “don’ts” are hidden where you can easily do without them.
  • In the event that denial is necessary, it is better to use constructive, motivating denial, which leaves space for further dialogue and softens the negative impression. Examples of motivating denials: “On this issue, I do not completely agree with you,” “The facts that you cited do not fully correspond to the real state of affairs.”
  • It is always better to say “already” instead of “still”: “We have already done part of the work and are continuing” instead of “We have only done part of the work, but we are continuing.” It's important to note that the word "yet" understates the scope of something.
  • In order to make your speech convincing and attractive to your interlocutor, it is very important to learn how to refuse correctly. It’s a bad idea to use harsh forms of refusal “no”, “that’s out of the question”, “under no circumstances!”, which can leave an extremely negative impression and can provoke quarrels and conflicts. Plus, they look finished and finished, which is not always what you want. It is better to replace them with more correct forms: “In the current situation, I cannot help you,” “Unfortunately, this is not enough to resolve this issue,” “In this form, I cannot agree on this,” etc.

Content of speech (what we say)

The ability to speak beautifully alone will not make you an interesting interlocutor. To do this, speech must be filled with meaning. Therefore, along with diction training, you may have to work on:

  • Speech literacy and vocabulary expansion;
  • Improving the accuracy of expression of thoughts;
  • Purity of speech.

How to develop speech literacy and expand your vocabulary?

Competent speech is a habit. You won’t be able to develop it in one day. But if you practice regularly, the results will not be long in coming.

To develop speech literacy and expand your vocabulary:

  1. Read books. Different genres;
  2. Listen to speakers' presentations. For example, at TED;
  3. Use dictionaries to find out the meaning of new words. For example,;
  4. Write dictations. For example, Total dictation;
  5. Ask friends and family to correct mistakes in your speech;
  6. Start writing and editing texts. The book “New Rules of Business Correspondence” will help you.

How to express your thoughts more accurately?

Before you speak, you need to understand what exactly you want to say. After all, thoughts in your head are born not in the form of words, but in the form of images. And the more accurately you describe these images in words, the easier it will be for you to convey your thoughts to your interlocutor.

The ability to describe your thoughts in words is also a skill. And its development will also take time. The fastest way to learn is through practice. That's why:

  • Communicate more, participate in discussions;
  • Learn from other people;
  • Read books;
  • Start a diary or blog.

Another important rule: learn to listen to other people and understand them. This may require you to work on your emotional intelligence. You can start by taking an emotional intelligence test.

How to get rid of parasitic words and make your speech clear

Parasitic words (“as if”, “in short”, “in general”, “like”, “this is it”, “here”, “so to speak” and others) and involuntary sounds (“umm”, “mmm”, “uh” and others) clog up speech.

Most often, people use filler words and sounds to fill pauses. The speaker pronounces them at the beginning or end of a sentence, or when transitioning from one thought to another.

Several ways to get rid of garbage in speech.

  • Record your speech on a voice recorder and determine what filler words and involuntary sounds you insert into your speech;
  • Every time you say a filler word or make sounds, clap your hands. This is a great way to see how clogged your speech is;
  • Start speaking more slowly and take more pauses. This will give you time to work through what you want to say.

Still, public speaking experts recommend not getting rid of filler words completely, but throwing out about 90%. The rest will be needed for informal conversations.

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How to speak convincingly? Avoiding unnecessary words and phrases

When considering the question of how to learn to speak convincingly, it is worth paying attention to unnecessary words and phrases . And we are talking here not only about parasitic words, but also about those phrases that simply do not carry a semantic load or even harm it:

  • It is highly discouraged to use the phrase “honestly” if you want to learn how to speak persuasively. By using this phrase, you strive to achieve a trusting atmosphere in the conversation, but you achieve the opposite effect: it turns out that before you were not speaking honestly, but now you have suddenly opened up.
  • Among the superfluous words that do not carry any semantic load are “in principle”, “in general”, “actually” and others. So, for example, by saying “actually we can agree with this,” you make it clear that there are some restrictions. If they really exist, it is better to say so directly.
  • If you want your speech to be convincing when offering an idea or your own services, you should not be cowardly by using the words “just” and “only” (for example, “It just occurred to me that...”, “It’s only sketches"). It’s better to be specific: “I want to propose...”, “I have an idea...”, “This is my preliminary project.”
  • In a business conversation, it is wise not to use the phrases “and yet” or “but still” (for example, “... and yet I cannot give you permission,” “I understand that it is difficult for you to give an immediate answer, but let’s decide anyway.” ..."). This formulation indicates that the interlocutor’s arguments do not influence you in any way, and your position remains uncompromising.

Don't demand too much change

People are not only selfish, many are also too lazy. Anyone who has made New Year's resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise knows how difficult it is to change your habits and lifestyle. In addition, people find it much easier to change their minds about simple things than about deep beliefs (like religion or political preferences). You must talk to your audience many times before they are willing to consider changing their attitude or behavior.

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The basics of persuasion: formulating it correctly

Any thought can be expressed in a hundred different ways. The meaning will be approximately the same, but the impression on the interlocutor will be different, and different shades of meaning may be perceived differently. That is why the basics of persuasion include the ability to correctly formulate and construct phrases . In this context, it is worth recommending:

  • Try not to use “you must...”, “you must...”, “you should...”, etc. unless absolutely necessary. Even if a person really should and is obliged, such formulations cause rejection and an automatic negative reaction. You just want to answer them, “I don’t owe anyone anything!” Persuasive speech should be less categorical and didactic: for example, “It would be good if you...”, “If you..., it will help us solve this problem”, “I recommend you...”, “I advise you...”, etc. .d.
  • You should always use the pronoun “but” carefully, as it defeats the purpose of what was said in the first part of the sentence. For example, in the remark “It’s good that you completed the task, but that’s not enough,” the word “but” reduces the significance of the fact that the interlocutor did something at all. It’s better to put it this way: “It’s good that you completed the task, and if you can still present the prepared project, then...”
  • It is better to set a specific time and place. The wording “Let’s meet somewhere near the metro entrance”, “I’ll call closer to the weekend” or “I’ll call you around 5” doesn’t sound very professional. Specific promises make a more favorable impression: “I’ll call you on Friday”, “Let’s meet at the metro entrance at 17:00”, etc.
  • The basics of persuading clients are based on the ability to ask the right questions. The worst mistake is to ask a question that implies a clear answer “yes” or “no”. For example, “Are you interested in this? - No". This is where communication usually ends. More information can be obtained from the interlocutor using open questions: “How do you like this idea?”, “How suitable is this proposal for you?” etc. Even if the client is not cooperative, using open questions you can leave ways for future contacts: “When can I contact you about this issue?”, “What terms would be acceptable to you in the future?” Learning to ask the right questions is the most important aspect of how to speak persuasively.
  • There is nothing constructive in the formulations “it would be necessary...”, “it would be necessary...”, “it would be necessary...” (for example, “You should connect this one). After all, even if the interlocutor agrees, nothing concrete has been decided. In this case, it is better to use specific settings “To use the service, you must activate it before ...”, “You must extend this agreement in order to ...”, etc.
  • In reasonable doses, persuasive speech can be supplemented with the phrases “I will be grateful to you (appreciative) if ...” and “I ask you.” Such phrases can change the interlocutor’s position even if he has compelling arguments to refuse.
  • You should not use categorical definitions “never”, “always”, “any”, “everyone”, “all” and the like. Firstly, this way your interlocutor can easily catch you overgeneralizing (after all, there are exceptions to any rule), and secondly, negative generalizations (for example, “I never succeed in this”) limit the possibilities for future success. In order to avoid getting into an unpleasant situation, you should be more specific and definite in your statements.
  • One of the most important foundations of persuasion is the desire to show the interlocutor a personalized desire to help. To do this, it is worth abandoning the formulations “I must”, “my responsibilities include”, “I am obliged” (for example, “Now I must enter your data into ...”, “I will write you an answer by e-mail. This is part of my responsibilities "). Such phrases clearly indicate that your services are determined only by job competencies. You can win over your interlocutor with positive and more personal phrases “I would like to...”, “I will do...”, “I will do my best to...”.
  • In many cases, it makes sense to say “we” and “you” instead of “I.” This emphasizes the fact of cooperation between the interlocutors and increases the sense of importance of the client or partner. Typical examples: “You and I will definitely resolve this situation,” “Now you understand the true state of affairs.”

You must please your “audience”

Imagine that you are in a furniture store and are choosing a new sofa. A sales manager approaches you and starts a conversation. You've already made your choice, but the salesperson is really annoying you. He follows you around the store and talks incessantly. Even if you've already pulled out a credit card to pay for your purchase, you'll likely give up the idea just to escape the pushy salesperson. You might even try to find another store that sells the same sofas.

If your “audience” doesn’t like you, people will never buy what you tell them. Therefore, be attentive and friendly. Always consider the impression you make on others.

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