The secret to persuasion

The secret to persuasion

How do you persuade people to take action? Simple. Find out what motivates them.

Imagine, for example, that you’re trying to encourage a friend to get a pet dog. How should you make your case? Should you cite statistics showing that a dog can make families happier? Or argue that dogs can help people get in shape? Or maybe you should simply plead that adopting a dog would save a life.

The answer depends on your friend. Is she a mother? A fitness fanatic? An animal activist?

Obviously, different individuals will respond better to different messaging. The key, then, to persuasive writing is to match your audience to the message that will resonate best. It’s a lot easier to inspire readers to take action once you understand what drives them.

Carolyn Clendenin