Persuasion is a talent. Possessing the skill of persuasion can accomplish many goals in a short time; in history, we have examples of people who had the gift of persuasion, and who changed the world: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, and even such people as Hitler. Although you are definitely not Mahatma Gandhi, you will still need persuasion techniques in your daily life. Why? Well, if you are a student, you will need to write a persuasive essay sooner or later. Fortunately, you have found this guide on the most common persuasive writing techniques, so now you can feel confident.
Before you apply any of the techniques though, you should make sure to observe several simple rules:
– know who is your audience (what people you will be addressing, what their age is, and their social status)
– know what is important to your audience (your topic should more or less match with what interests them)
– know about the topic you will be writing about.
Persuasive Writing Techniques
- Appealing to the emotions of the audience you are addressing. Emotions can be compared with a skeleton key – a ultimate lockpick that opens any doors. When a person is emotional, their rational thinking fades (to a degree depending on the intensity of emotions), and they believe what they are told with more ease. This trick is widely used in commercials. For example, you see a happy family with smiling faces, eating in KFC: your minds subconsciously associates KFC chicken with happiness, and the next time you walk by a KFC restaurant, you are more likely to drop in and grab a bite. Or, during WWII, nazistic propaganda used negative images of Allies and the USSR forces to convince German people that they were evil.
- Appeal to logic. This technique is somewhat opposite to the previous technique, and is widely used in official and academic environments. In order to support the claim you are making, you search for facts, data, competent opinions, and other evidence, and introduce them to your audiences. Appealing to emotions is a more “subjective” method, so to say, and may fail if your audience is already “emotionally charged” against your claim; however, arguing with pure facts and numbers is more difficult.
- Make them agree. I don’t mean using brute force to make your audience agree with your claim – I mean make them say “yes” as many times as possible. If you argue against abortions, and your audience consists of proponents of this surgery, instead of dancing around with facts and statistics, or writing “How can you be so cruel?” try asking small questions, or making statements that have only one answer – positive. Life is precious. A child’s life is a miracle. Abortions may seem necessary, but they are still cruel. Isn’t abortion the same as killing? These are the approximate questions you can ask – answering “no” to at least one of them is pretty difficult. Once you make a person say “yes” once, he or she will agree with you easier with each next “yes.” As a result, this person will be more likely to agree with your negative opinion about abortions.
These were just some persuasive writing techniques. Stay updated for part two!