Knowing how to persuade people is one of the most important skills needed to succeed in life. Today’s article shares six effective techniques for learning the art of persuasion and becoming a persuasive person.
- Act with Confidence
- Just Relax
- Listen Silently
- Use the 6 U’s
- Take Advantage of Other People’s Desires
- Persuade by Handling Objections
How to Persuade People Now: 6 Effective Strategies to Instantly Become Persuasive
1. Act with Confidence
One of the most important persuasive techniques you must learn is to act with confidence.
Imagine politicians who take the stage during a campaign presentation or debate. All they have to get the audience to believe and trust in them is their confidence, that innate belief they can deliver their promises and that what they’re promising is worth your vote.
People need to know you’re trustworthy, reliable, honest, and capable in order to trust you. The way you act, including your body language, tells others a lot about you.
If you act confidently, you’ll be able to convey a subtle but powerful message that you’re worthy of their trust. Acting tentatively or like you’re unsure of yourself conveys the opposite message.
You see, effective communication is only 10% verbal and 90% non-verbal. You may know something inside out better than anyone but if you look weak and tentative, you won’t be effective in persuading others.
One of the best ways to learn how to act confidently is method acting. By this, think about how it feels when you successfully persuade others even before you start talking.
How does it feel when you’re able to successfully close a deal with an awesome pitch? What sensations run through your body after winning a debate?
When you’re able to imagine your desired result and are able to feel the emotions associated with them, acting confidently becomes more natural. This will especially be helpful if you’re trying to make persuasive arguments, such as asking people to change their beliefs or perspective in favor of yours.
But if your method of persuasion involves being fidgety, can’t maintain eye contact, and slouching, you’ll send the message that you’re incompetent, weak, and are most likely wrong. Say goodbye to learning how to persuade other people.
2. Just Relax
When you’re anxious and you act like it, you don’t look confident. And when you don’t look confident, your chances of persuading others get lower.
To feel more relaxed and overcome the anxiety of persuading other people, try three deep belly breaths. When you breathe in, let your belly expand and not your chest because chest-breathing is shallow breathing associated with anxiety.
When you calm down and relax, you’ll look way more confident, which is already half the persuasion battle. Just by relaxing, you can become more effective in persuading people even without speaking.
3. Listen Silently
You’ve probably been taught that part of active listening, which is supposed to be an effective persuasion technique, is audibly agreeing with the other person. You do this by saying “yup,” “uh-huh,” or “right” while the other person’s talking.
When it comes to this communication technique, you’ve been taught wrong. Doing so can make you look stupid and keep you from becoming effective at persuading other people.
Who wants to trust a person who they think is stupid, right?
The lesson here is this: just keep quiet while the other person’s talking. When he or she’s done, wait for two more seconds before saying your piece because there’s a good chance there’s a follow-up monologue coming up.
Doing this can help you do two things: let them know you respect them enough to really listen and gives you more time to think of sensible responses after they talk. In turn, these things help you maximize your chances of persuading others.
Conversely, you can look stupid if you listen and talk at the same time, which isn’t a persuasive trait. Worse, cutting the other person off while talking may piss him or her off, killing all your chances of persuasion immediately.
4. Use the 6 U’s
These six tactics, all beginning with the letter U, are very good ways to address the other person’s needs. Doing so can help change a person’s attitude towards your idea and become effective at persuading him or her.
- Urgency: Think about why a particular issue is urgent for the other person and more importantly, how your idea or position can help address the urgency.
- Uniqueness: Clearly communicating your idea’s unique selling proposition separates it – and you – from the rest of the pack. The more unique your idea is, the easier it can be for others to see its superiority and be persuaded.
- Usefulness: The more useful your idea is to other people, the easier it becomes to persuade them to accept it.
- Ultra-Specific: The more specific your idea is, the easier it is for others to understand it. When they understand your idea easily, chances are it’ll be easy for them to accept it, too.
- User-Friendliness: The easier it is to understand and/or implement your idea, the easier it is to persuade others to accept it. The harder it is to implement and/or understand, your chances of persuading others get lower.
- Unquestionable Proof: Numbers don’t lie and results can’t be questioned. Whenever possible, think about what unquestionable proofs you can offer to support your idea to give it credibility with other people.
5. Take Advantage of Other People’s Desires
Human beings are selfish. Yes, it seems like a harsh statement but it’s a fact.
The art of persuasion requires using this knowledge of basic human nature to your advantage. There are two ways to do this: trying your best to know the other person’s desires and addressing them.
Doing these two things can help you gain credibility and convince the other person to let their guard down. When that happens, you can win their trust and eventually, persuade them.
What are some examples of the most common desires people have? These include, among other things:
- Experience public recognition
- Exact revenge on those who’ve offended them
- Experience a romantic relationship
- Get relief from stress or pains bothering their body or mind
- Feel rejuvenated
- For religious or spiritual people, to feel connected to the God they believe in
- Receive rewards for their efforts
- See results from their efforts
- To relax
If you’re able to address any of these desires, you can open minds and soften hearts about your idea. In turn, it’ll increase your chances of successfully persuading people.
6. Persuade by Handling Objections
Apart from death and taxes, objections to your ideas is another one of those unavoidable things in life. I’m not saying you’ll always encounter objections but that you’ll encounter objections once in a while.
The moment you accept this fact, the sooner you can prepare to address them effectively and persuade other people. Here are some of the most common objections people have you’ll need to learn how to address:
- I don’t have time.
- I don’t find the idea interesting.
- It’s no different from all the others.
- I don’t believe it’s true or that it works.
- I can’t decide yet.
Whether you’re giving a speech in front of an audience, trying to sell something, or simply trying to have someone see your point-of-view, learning the art of persuasion can go a long way in helping you achieve your goal.
Just like all other skills worth acquiring, the process of persuasion will take time and consistent practice. If you patiently work on this skill, you’ll be able to significantly increase your persuasion batting average over time and become very good at persuading other people.
Which of these persuasion techniques do you think will work best for you and why? Let us know in the comments section below.
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