Persuasion Skills

Tips on How to Sharpen and Hone Your Persuasion Skills

Charisma will only get you so far in life if you do not possess any persuasion skills. Some of the most gifted litigators, Fortune 500 CEOs, and yes, even 15 year old daughters get what they want and need by having a keen understanding of how to make people change their minds using these persuasion skills.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need to levy a raise, get a leg up in debate class, or simply boost your self confidence in an awkward social setting, these tips will help you hone the innate persuasion skills inside of you that may take you to that next level.

Choose Your Point, and State It Clearly

You may have a million and one reasons for taking a certain stance and wishing others to agree with you. If you don’t know how to present your viewpoint, however, you’re going to come off as desperate and scatterbrained. You will likely talk in circles that lead nowhere. This can be avoided by essentially turning your argument into a thesis. Begin with stating what you want. After that you can explain why you feel the way you do, positives of your viewpoints, and negatives as well. Follow this outline of points with a concluding statement that summarizes the things previously mentioned and ties in with your opening line.

Establish Yourself as Trustworthy and Credible

If you are making a sales pitch, argue yourself out of a bad grade, or even interviewing for a job, you need to make sure that you positively ooze credibility. If a person has a bad vibe with you and doesn’t trust you, they will likely not really pay attention to what you are saying; they may simply smile and nod and blow you off.

Be warm, friendly, and inviting. Be someone likeable that the person can put their faith in. On the same token, do not provide false information; be able to back yourself up. If you are working on a large business project, having established yourself as credible and trustworthy with others can pay off for you. Word of mouth does wonders, and you will reap the benefits if a person you are trying to pitch an idea to seeks consult from someone that has dealt with you in the past.

Be Respectful

If you talk down to a person or try to “educate” them, you are going to build a huge barrier of resistance between you. The point is to develop persuasion skills and have people see things the way you do, not to lecture them or make them feel stupid. Always treat people with dignity and respect.

Know When to Use Logic and When to Use Emotional Appeals

Logic and reason can go a long way in winning an argument or debate. If you want to hold a banquet indoors, but your competitor thinks that outdoors is best, you can appeal to someone’s logical side by pointing out that the weather will be 90 degrees with high humidity that day, and therefore the guests should be kept comfortable inside. Using logic in this case, will most likely win you the bid for the banquet organizing.

Appealing to people’s emotions is effective as well. Mob leaders, politicians, and activists have been doing this for decades with much success. Find out what the person you are talking to stands for, fears, loves, and bring up points that specifically bring out emotional responses to these things.

Practice these techniques in your everyday life and watch people’s reactions to you change. If one of the tactics doesn’t work at first for you, practice it some more and try different techniques and twists that make it work better.