20 ways to persuade people - the ability to persuade as the basis for success in business life

One of the key topics in the psychology of influence is how to learn to persuade, achieving goals even with the initial disagreement of your counterpart. This skill is important for business, personal relationships, and strengthening one’s self-esteem. However, the ability to persuade is dangerously close to manipulation, which, although effective in the short term, is very harmful in the long term.

This is the art of a competent negotiator: when achieving your goal, do not create in others the feeling that they were used, deceived and forced to do something by force. On the contrary, the interlocutor sincerely agrees with the theses proposed to him or fulfills the request, and the positive feeling remains with him in the future. Let's figure out how, when convincing a person, not to become a manipulator, but at the same time achieve success in negotiations, win over loved ones and colleagues to your side, and remain on good terms with everyone.

Use powerful words

Persuasive speech consists of words that evoke a response.
This method is constantly used in advertising. Just imagine that you need to sell someone car insurance. Of course, you can say that every day there are thousands of accidents or accidents on the roads. But it’s better to construct a phrase differently: “Every day thousands of people die on the roads” or “Every day thousands of accidents end in death.”

Death is a stronger word than chance.

Structured speech

The persuasiveness of speech depends on its structure - thoughtfulness, consistency and logic. The structured nature of speech allows you to explain the main points in a more accessible and understandable way, helps to clearly follow the intended plan, such speech is better perceived and remembered by the listener.


An effective introduction will help to interest and attract a person’s attention, establish trust and create an atmosphere of goodwill. The introduction should be brief and consist of three or four sentences indicating the subject of speech and telling the reason why you should know what will be discussed.

The introduction sets the mood and tone of the speech. A serious beginning gives the speech a restrained and thoughtful tone. A humorous beginning sets a positive mood, but here it is worth understanding that starting with a joke and setting the audience in a playful mood, it will be difficult to talk about serious things.

Main content of the speech

It must be understandable, clear and meaningful - persuasive speech cannot be incomprehensible and chaotic. Break down your main points, thoughts and ideas into several parts. Consider smooth transitions that show the connection between one part of the speech and another.

The main content can be conveyed in different ways:

  • statement of facts that can be verified;
  • expert opinions, judgments of people with authority in this field;
  • quotes that enliven and explain the material;
  • specific cases and examples that can explain and illustrate facts;
  • description of your own experience and your theory;
  • statistics that can be verified;
  • reflections and forecasts about future events;
  • funny stories and anecdotes (in a small dose), meaningfully reinforcing or revealing the points in question;
  • literal or figurative comparisons and contrasts that illustrate statements by showing differences and similarities.


The conclusion is the most difficult and important part of a persuasive speech. It should repeat what was said and enhance the effect of the entire speech. What is said in conclusion, a person will remember longer. As a rule, it is at the end, along with a summary of what has been said, that a call to action sounds, which describes the actions and behavior of people necessary for the speaker.

Try to look dignified, but not arrogant

A pleasant appearance is attractive, but it can also serve as a bad service. The danger is this: the person who is dressed better than others feels powerful and often begins to behave condescendingly. And this is repulsive.

Remember that the one you are trying to convince is a priori higher than you: he has the right to say “no”. So try to look good without appearing better than others.

Examples of Persuasion

Reframing: use positive connotations of “pro” or “for” instead of the word “anti.” For example, the social movement is called “for nature” and not “against development”.

Open questions: “What do you think about...”, “How do you feel about...”.

Emotional argument (curiosity, trust, etc.): “Honestly, the promotion has already ended, but we’ll try to extend it for you,” “The backlight in this kettle changes color from blue to red when the water boils.”

Of course, all these skills need to be honed with professional trainers. The Oratoris school of public speaking invites everyone who wants to become persuasive, successfully negotiate, and defend their point of view. You will learn how to persuade anyone without becoming a manipulator, and how to win supporters while maintaining the ethics of influence.

Speak the other person's language

A simple truth: people are more willing to trust those who are similar to them, whom they understand. Therefore, your task is to adapt to your interlocutor. Doesn't he use jargon? That means you shouldn't either. Is he kidding? You also need to show a sense of humor.

This rule also applies to nonverbal communication. If a person actively gestures, then you also need to be lively and open. If he chooses closed poses, he should be more restrained.

The method also works with a group of people. You just need to find out what style of communication the audience responds positively to.

Evidence-based arguments to support your idea

For the most part, people are rational and rarely do anything that is not beneficial to them. Therefore, in order to convince a person, you need to find good arguments explaining the justification and expediency of the proposal.

Arguments are thoughts, statements and arguments used to support a particular point of view. They answer the question of why we should believe something or act in a certain way. The persuasiveness of a speech largely depends on the correctness of the selected arguments and evidence.

Having compiled a list of arguments, evaluate them carefully, think about whether they are suitable in a particular case, whether they will affect a given audience or not. After weighing all the pros and cons, choose the two or three that are most effective from the remaining ones.

What should be the criteria for evaluating and selecting arguments:

  1. The best arguments are those that are supported by solid evidence. It happens that a speech sounds convincing, but is not supported by facts. When preparing your speech, make sure your arguments are sound.
  2. Good arguments must be intelligently and concisely built into the proposal. They shouldn't sound out of place.
  3. Even if your argument is well supported and justified, it may not be accepted by a person. People react differently. For some, your facts and arguments will sound convincing, while others will not consider the arguments you used to be the main ones for assessing the situation. Of course, you cannot know for sure what impact your argument will have on the person being persuaded, but you can at least approximately guess and estimate what the result will be based on the analysis of the personality (audience).

To ensure that you present a truly compelling case, you should ask yourself at least three questions:

  1. Where did the information come from, from what source? If evidence comes from a biased or unreliable source, it is best to either exclude the evidence from your speech or seek confirmation from other sources. Just as one person's words are more trustworthy than another's, so some printed sources are more reliable than others.
  2. Is the information current? Ideas and statistics should not be outdated. What was true three years ago may not be true today. Your generally persuasive speech may be questioned due to one inaccuracy. This should not be allowed!
  3. What relevance does this information have to the case? Make sure the evidence clearly supports the arguments you are making.

Direct your emotions

Enthusiasm and excitement should naturally develop as the conversation progresses. By immediately attacking a person, throwing out your emotions on him, you can suppress or push him away.

It is better to start the dialogue on an optimistic but relaxed note, and only then, gradually going into detail, demonstrate more and more excitement and passion for the idea. This way you will look natural and will be able to infect your interlocutor with your experiences.

The power of motivation

Motivation, which initiates and guides behavior, often arises as a result of the use of incentives that have a certain value and significance.

The impact of an incentive is greatest when it is part of a meaningful goal and indicates a favorable reward-cost ratio. Imagine asking people to donate a few hours to participate in a charity program.

Most likely, the time you convince them to spend will not be perceived as an incentive reward, but as a cost. How to convince people? you can present this charitable work as a significant incentive that provides rewards.

For example, you can make the public feel the importance of the cause, feel socially responsible, people with a sense of civic duty, feel like noble helpers. Always show that the incentives and rewards outweigh the costs.

Use incentives that match people's basic needs, they work better. According to one popular theory of needs, people express a greater propensity to act when a stimulus offered by the speaker can satisfy an important unmet need of the listeners.

People need to feel needed

The cult leader, standing in front of future adherents, senses that one woman is not ready to join the sect.

He instantly stops talking to the entire group and turns his full attention to the woman. He praises her intellectual abilities and skill in making connections in society.

“These are truly rare abilities,” he assures her, and tells her how much the group needs the help of people with such outstanding qualities.

The woman smiles and, blushing, thanks the leader for the compliment. She soon becomes a fully involved cult member.

Give the person the feeling that they are truly needed. Not because you are desperate, but because he is special and you will give him one of the greatest gifts on earth.

One former cult member put it this way: “I was fed worship; food of the gods."

How to use this method:

  1. Explain the situation as a whole. What's at stake? What is the problem?
  2. Explain the specific role that person may play in the situation.
  3. Emphasize the importance of the role
  4. Note why the person is uniquely suited to the role.
  5. Openly admit that your request will require sacrifice (effort) on his part.
  6. Ask if you can count on him

Read above for an example of such a psychological belief.

Keep in mind that the request you are asking to be fulfilled should not be significant.

It just has to seem significant to another person.

Law of retaliation

When you are given something that is of value to you, you in turn feel the urge to give back and give something in return (Note: the law does not say that if you give something to someone, you will automatically receive something in return) then in return. The Law speaks of a reciprocal desire to thank.)

It can be argued that we are all, to a certain extent, subject to the law of reciprocity.

Every Christmas, millions of people buy cards and gifts for other people just because they receive gifts from them and don't want to be embarrassed! From early childhood we were taught to respond to gifts. Moreover, the return gift should not be more expensive or cheaper. Have you ever received something more expensive for Christmas than what you gave yourself? In such a situation, you felt obligated to buy that person something else to make up the difference. This is a wonderful example of the law of reciprocity.

The husband feels obligated to do housework if his wife starts cleaning. The poor wife is exhausted, washing the floors, dishes, laundry and doing a lot of things around the house, while her husband, as if having forgotten about everything, watches football. But all this time the husband feels guilty, although he himself may be dead tired after a hard and stressful week. Feelings of guilt are triggered.

Skin care sellers give you free samples of their products to try, then come back about ten days later to hear your impressions and take your order. Most hand creams actually moisturize the skin. And if a woman who has used a trial portion likes the aroma of the cream, she will, without a doubt, buy at least one product from the seller.

This week, your neighbor dropped your kids off at school in his car. Next week you will feel the need to repay the favor. Each person has his own “bank of services”. This is a figurative name. Each of us has such a “bank”. It “stores” a certain amount of services that we are willing to provide to another person until “reimbursement” is required. If this person does not reimburse the fund for the services provided, we feel that he simply took advantage of us, and henceforth we refuse to help him.

You had a great evening visiting friends. Now you feel obligated to invite them to your place. Organizing a dinner for friends is a troublesome task. However, maintaining a relationship is even more troublesome and requires a lot of work. Accepting someone's invitation and not reciprocating usually means ruining your relationship with that person.

If you think a little, you will certainly find many examples of times when you have felt obligated to reciprocate the favor of other people, and this is not so much a property of “human nature” as the result of upbringing, which is very difficult to resist. The response does not necessarily have to be negative. It is obvious that our relations are built on reciprocal actions. Difficulties begin when retaliatory actions turn into manipulation.

There is nothing wrong with giving or accepting gifts from others. But it's clear that people don't like to be obligated or feel the need to "give back." How do you feel when you find yourself in a similar situation? How do you feel when someone gives you a gift? When you receive a gift for a holiday (for example, Christmas), but you yourself cannot give anything in return?

Association Law

We generally like products, services, or ideas that are endorsed or promoted by people who inspire us with sympathy and respect.

If we like people advertising a product, we develop positive associations with that product. Regardless of its quality, we often buy such a product because of the advertisement that a famous person made for it. (But only the first time. The second purchase is a different matter, and we'll talk about it later.)

Music is an amazing phenomenon that can evoke a variety of memories. To this day, my mother cannot listen to the song “I'll Be Home for Christmas” without crying. Her brother died during World War II, and she learned about it when she listened to this song. Often music is associated with the story of love and romantic relationships. Many married couples have a song that they consider their “love song.” Songs bring back memories and allow people to relive how they felt when they first heard the music, even if it was many years ago.

During presidential election years, candidates often rely on the words of former presidents from the opposing party in their speeches. .This is a great tactic to use in debates. Republican candidates often quote super-popular Democrats such as John F. Kennedy. Such references evoke a positive response in the minds of Democrats and, in particular, people who once supported Kennedy. Skillful use of this technique guarantees the candidate additional votes in the elections.

People need to know things others don't know/things they shouldn't know

Do you want to know the secret? You're not alone.

The idea of ​​learning something that few people know, or learning something you shouldn't know, is extraordinarily tempting.

Many cult leaders claim to have secret knowledge.

They say they have connections with mystical sources of knowledge. They can summon spirits, communicate with aliens, and they have solved the mystery of human cloning.

The power of mystery is all around us, waiting for us to use it.

What is there in your product, service or idea that has shades of secrecy or mystery?

When you discover this, you will have another powerful resource for persuasion.

People need a scapegoat

Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti, in his book Crowds and Power, says that one of the surest ways to keep a certain group alive is to focus their attention on another group of people whom they see as their enemies.

In other words, the crowd needs a scapegoat.

You might have seen how federal television is trying to focus attention on the “bad Americans.”

This is just one of the methods of psychological influence.

When we feel that something is wrong with us, we immediately start looking for a solution. Why?

Because this “wrong” threatens our psychological stability.

And there is no faster way to restore stability and a sense of security than to learn that the cause of our problem lies outside of us.

Our problems lie in the scapegoat.

How to use this idea ethically? Very simple.

We must understand that the scapegoat should not be a person or a group of people.

The scapegoat must be an opposing force to be effective.

For example, it could be an idea, a philosophy, or an unfortunate set of circumstances that cannot be controlled.

One landscape designer said that when he first meets potential clients, they are often embarrassed by the condition of their property.

He tells them that drought and poor soil conditions are to blame.

That is, he found a scapegoat. It’s not people’s fault that their land is in this condition!

And when he began to shift the blame from the owners to poor conditions, the number of customers increased.

Find a way to shift responsibility - and the person will be more receptive to your proposal.

Facial expressions, gestures and posture.

Support your arguments with these important elements. As you know, body language and facial expressions can speak louder than words. In addition, the content of your speech and facial expression should not contradict each other. And your behavior should demonstrate friendliness and readiness for dialogue.

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