Episode 42: The Art of Persuasion
Today’s episode is about persuasion, and how we process the world these days.
We are entering into a phase in American history that’s littered with some embarrassingly bad rhetoric, and a lot of screaming at one another, when we should all be talking to one another.
How we talk to one another matters. In earlier episode we talked about the words we use and what they can mean. But today this episode is about the art of persuasion… Because it is indeed an art. And there are many facets of this artform that will cover in future episodes but today I want to take a lesson out of the headlines and talk to you about staying grounded.
Staying grounded can help you be more persuasive and no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. And being persuasive directly translates into the amount of success you’re going to have with whatever you’re doing. I don’t care if you’re trying to raise money for a new Company, or if you’re trying to sell an idea to a group of people or whether you’re trying to build an audience for a creative project.
And one of the first rules in our course on the art of persuasion is very simple: avoid superlatives or hyperbole.
The song you just listened to in your car is not the greatest rock ‘n’ roll song of all time. The sandwich you had last Thursday was not the greatest meatball sub ever. And that bad day you had last week wasn’t the worst day in history.
All you need to do is spend about five minutes on social media and we will see but you don’t have to look very far to find people rhetorically running around with their hair and pants on fire simultaneously.
The easiest way to sabotage yourself as a speaker or a presenter is to overhype or oversell something beyond all reason.
There are several reasons to avoid hysterical rhetoric:
You need to leave yourself somewhere to go. If you are in a constant mode of exaggeration, when you do legitimately need to overemphasize something, you will have no language left to use to get your point across.
Another reason is to avoid the “boy who cried wolf” scenario. Is the world really ending? Is this the end of the world as we know it? No, and no, of course not.
For those of you who don’t know the Boy who cried wolf……
By using hysterical rhetoric: hyperbole and superlatives all the time, you reveal something truly about yourself: That you may very well be incapable of critical thought, and placing events in context, and that you are not someone who is level headed. No one wants to follow someone like that.
So what to do? Here are some guidelines:
Be a critical thinker! Compare your current experience against history, and make a measured assessment of the situation, and then write and speak in that style.
Think before you speak.
Reaction and outrage and being offended are no substitutes for rational thought.
When in doubt, take the heat in your language down a notch.
More on this topic as we go through 2017.
This episode is about the Art of Persuasion. There are plenty of sales courses out there. This discussion is not about sales. The ability to persuade others will serve you well in life, in the boardroom, on the sales floor, in the classroom, and everywhere you go.
To learn more, you can download my written guide, The Art of Persuasion, by clicking on the link embedded in this post, or visit my law practice website, tuklaw.com and click on the TLO Store tab. It can not be any easier.
I’ll talk to you next Thursday, when I interview Lehigh Valley Underground founder Gerard Longo about building an online business.
Until then, keep building the future. It’s closer than you think.