How to be Persuasive

There is a certain ‘art’ to successful persuasion, it is not something that comes easily to most but it is something that everyone can learn to master. We know that the greatest leaders and most influential people in the world are also great persuaders; they have the ability to make their audience believe what they say and respect what they do.

Persuading people to do what you want them to do, however, is rather a tricky art to master. So, without further ado, let’s go over the main principles and tips to become a persuasive person!


1. Confidence is key

If you don’t believe in what you are saying, you cannot expect others to. It is therefore incredibly important that you exude confidence when speaking to people. Confidence comes from within, so it may require you to focus on doing some helpful confidence training exercises to ensure you appear confident even when you don’t necessarily feel it.

2. Understand the topic, inside out

The only way to make someone do what you want or believe what you say, is to provide real evidence that what you are talking about it something that the other party should care about. How can you do this? By knowing your topic inside out of course. If the other party questions what you say, you need to be able to come back to them with strong and ‘persuasive’ responses to change their mind.

3. Know your audience

You cannot simply bombard your audience with facts and figures about the topic in hand, you need to know how to approach the topic and the manner in which you deliver the information. Not everyone will accept information in the same way. For example, a young, social media savvy audience might appreciate a more informal approach with the use of technology and innovative presentation techniques, whilst an older more mature audience might prefer handouts and factual evidence.

4. Understand the difference between manipulation and persuasion

Manipulation is wrong and it is not what persuasion is all about, but with such a fine line between the two, it can be difficult to know when you are crossing that line. You need to understand that persuading people requires you to get them to do or agree to something that is in their own best interest whilst also benefiting you too – this is a form of mutual benefit. You are manipulating another person when you try to get them to do something that is for your own benefit and of little or no benefit to them.

Never lie or exaggerate the truth when persuading people either, this takes the art of persuasion to a darker place and one that is very much frowned upon. A white lie here and there never hurt anyone, but outright lies to convince another person of what you are saying is another matter entirely.

If you are in sales or a similar position where client negotiations are important, being good at persuading people will help boost your career incredibly. It is, therefore, important that you take these tips and principles on board and put them into practise the next time to need to win over an audience/client.

What other tips can we add to this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!