Convincing. A special Art. An unusual Art. An interesting Art. But above all, an Art. (No, I’m not in need of a grammar lesson. It is such an in-depth form that it must be referred to as an Art. An art simply won’t do. It doesn’t have that air of royalty.) How many times have we had to sweet-talk our way out of trouble? How many times have we had to persuade our siblings to do something? How many times have we had to prove our point to others? Go ahead, I can wait till you finish counting.
Just the other day, my friend and I were discussing an exam we’d attempted. Here’s how the conversation went:
Friend: Hey Niru, what answer did you mark for Q.3?
Me: 3? I marked Option C!
While you’re at it, prepare for the arguments against yours. Almost everybody in this world will have a contradicting opinion, and you have to be able to argue against them. That doesn’t mean you can go about shouting or whining at them – stay calm at all times and just be steady in your persuasive manner.
“You’ll be fine.”
2. ‘Reading the Audience.’
Evaluate how they think of themselves. Do they think of themselves as educated, logical people? Do they view themselves in a more emotional manner? How they see themselves will heavily influence what type of evidence you show them when you try to persuade them. Try subtly introducing the topic to find out what they think about it and note the reactions – body language or facial expressions. Observe them but don’t let it worry you. That will give you insight on how to approach them later. You should be ready to change your methods as necessary. If you really want to be persuasive, you have to be able to change your tactics at a moment’s notice. This means practice and it means being flexible and it means thinking things through before you go into them.
“Being able to react the right way to your audience’s feelings can make all the difference.”
3. ‘Engineering the Environment.’
You have to pick the right time to talk to the person. Trying to convince your mom to get you that new video game when she’s just back from a tiring day at work isn’t really going to win you any points. There’s a right time and place for everything. Choose carefully. Once you’ve found the right time and gained their attention, work hard to keep them engaged. A bored audience isn’t a swayed audience. Besides, rush them to make a decision! Make it seem...