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intrapersonal communication.

Tailor the Message to the Medium

What persuades in writing doesn’t necessarily persuade when delivered verbally. For example, you can include numbers and statistics in a written document because readers can take their time interpreting the data. But if you bombard listeners with these same figures during a speech, you may confuse them and lose their attention. Face-to-face interaction often is more effective at persuading others because you can create a personal connection with your audience and use eye contact, gestures and other nonverbal signals to maintain their attention.

Convey Benefits

It’s easier to persuade an audience when you can show them how your proposal benefits them. If you’re asking your staff to work overtime during a busy season, describe how the extra money generated will fund additional employee perks or physical improvements to the workplace. If you’re trying to convince your supervisor to let you work from home part time, mention studies illustrating that employees are more productive when allowed to telecommute. If you’re pitching an idea to a client, explain how using your idea will improve the company’s image and attract more customers.

Use Body Language

With verbal communication, your demeanor influences your ability to persuade as much as your words. If you cross your arms, your audience may perceive you as hostile or angry. If you fidget, they may see you as weak or uncertain. If you rarely make eye contact, they may think you’re hiding something. To sell your message to your audience, connect with them by maintaining eye contact. Project authority and confidence by standing up straight. Demonstrate your sincerity and openness by relaxing your arms and keeping them at your sides – unless you’re using them to gesture – instead of crossing them behind or in front of you.