Effective Persuasive Communication

By Zachary Fenell

Communication can be classified by your intentions as a messenger. Persuasive communication occurs when you hope to influence and change a person's beliefs. For example, a politician uses persuasive communication to convince indecisive voters to vote for him. Effective persuasive communication involves understanding basic communication principles as well as persuasive communication strategies. Additionally, effective persuasive communication means carefully organizing your information throughout the introduction, body and conclusion of your message.

Communication Basics

Basic communication concepts include channel, audience and environment. A communication channel refers to the medium of your message. For instance, will you be giving an oral presentation, participating in a radio interview or writing an article? Knowing your medium will aid you in determining the best persuasive strategies to use. Effective communication also relies on being familiar with your audience so you can best connect with its members. Choosing an appropriate environment to voice your message is necessary to avoid distractions, such as background noise and wall decorations.

Strategies

The key to effective persuasive communication involves developing a listener-orientated message. In an article published on Self Growth, an online self-improvement encyclopedia, Ronnie Nijmeh recommends using "we" rather than "me," "my" or "I." This will help make your audience members feel important, giving you more influence over them. Another strategy Nijmeh recommends involves developing your message around your audience. To do this, ask yourself questions like "What's my audience's current attitude on this subject?" and "How can I use their attitudes to bolster my agenda?"

Introduction

The introduction of a persuasive message should introduce the subject at hand and the relevancy of that topic to your audience. Your audience's familiarity with the topic will determine how in-depth of an introduction you need to give. For example, imagine you have to give a persuasive presentation for work. For an internal presentation, you wouldn't have to give many details about your company because your audience already knows them. However, if you have to convince a group of potential investors to invest in your company, a detailed company introduction will be needed. Establishing the relevance of the topic to your audience is important in obtaining your audience's attention.

Body

The body of your persuasive message should outline and visualize your plan of action. For instance, if you're persuading investors to invest in your company, demonstrate how their investment will make them money. Nonverbal communication, such as eye contact and body language, in a presentation setting gives you an opportunity for direct feedback when evaluating the effectiveness of your message. If you sense by nonverbal communication that your audience seems uninterested, you can improvise. For example, asking a question can help you regain your audience's attention.

Conclusion

After the body of your message convinces your audience of your intended purpose, you should end your message with a call to action. For instance, if you wrote an article on why Americans should vote, you could end your piece by asking readers to register to vote. This is an important part of persuasive communication, as your audience members might be unfamiliar with what steps they need to take to become involved.