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R.U. Persuasive? (5) Mastering and mixing three key persuasive ingredients

July 8, 2016

20141123_205658-1_resizedMixing Credibility, Logic & Emotional Appeal

Every audience and situation is different – so you will need to decide which of these three elements require the most emphasis and when.  Limited action will take place if credibility has not been established. People are less likely to believe or follow your lead if they don’t trust you.  It’s also important to make a logical case, especially for the more reasonable types in your audience.  But logic is usually not enough to move people to action.  And, while emotional appeal is the aspect of persuasion that MOVES people, it can be overdone or underdone in relation to your audience.  Sometimes emotional appeal needs to be subtle, sometimes overt, sometimes upbeat and sometimes a direct warning.

Managing Motives

Two basic human motives,  fear of loss and opportunity for gain, weigh heavily when making your persuasive case.  Both are EMOTIONAL factors as opposed to the FACTUAL ingredients of logic or credibility.

  • When others are receptive to what you’re proposing, or positioned to take advantage of your offer, it’s a great time to focus on opportunity for gain.  At times like these you can be the cheerleader, rally a team and move people towards a decision, commitment or goal.
  • Until people are receptive to your message, however, your best bet is to lead with the negative.  Fear of loss is the more powerful of the two motives.  When you send a warning that there’s trouble ahead, danger is lurking or someone is going to LOSE big time you tap into the biology that’s helped humans join forces, take action and survive for so many centuries.

Making Your Case

When making your case through fear of loss, start with a quick, urgent and direct warning.  You might say, “Let’s face it, were in trouble…”  Or, “I’ve got some bad news. Things are going sideways and if we don’t act now they are likely to go completely south.”   With only a slight pause, just enough time to let your words trigger the listener’s biological alarm buttons, you can then announce the rescue by saying, “The good news is…if we take action now we can avert disaster.”  Or, “If we’re all willing to put in ten hour days between now and Christmas we can turn this ship around.”   Your third action would be to lay out the “next steps” plan of what needs to be done to evade disaster or seize an emerging opportunity and get back on the road to success.

Rich Drinon, M.A. is a leadership communication skills coach with an advanced education in leadership communication,  28 years of experience coaching leaders and  managers and expertise in the art and science of persuasion.    

 The Rich’s Rules for Engagement video series, featuring more insights on persuasion, is soon to be released.  In the meanwhile you can purchase Rich’s Rules: Great Rules of Leadership for only 29.99 at the following location:    Rich’s Rules: Great Rules of Leadership Video Series  

From → Persuasion

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