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Visual Communication

Persuasive Speaking

Delivering persuasive messages through spoken words require a great deal of proficiency and professionalism. God Almighty exhorts His Prophet (peace be upon him) in Quran while engaged in persuasive dialogues, he should lay stress first on the points which are undisputable and common between him and his audience.

Psychologists suggest that persuasive impact can be enhanced through different devices like structured choice, partial commitment and asking for more but being content with less. In structured choice the audience are asked to make their choice from two alternatives , — usually positive and negative. In partial commitment device, the speaker gets commitment from the receivers of the message for some action, leaving the other parts of the proposal for some later stage. When personnel are doubtful about the willingness of the management to accept the actual financial plan, they ask for a larger amount than required.

10  Roadblocks to Persuasion

Persuasion in its real sense is not a science. None of the techniques and devices can claim to get sure-fire results of persuasion. It deals with complicated and unpredictable human nature. The failure to achieve the desired results of persuasion, some experts think, may be attributed to ineptness or false assumptions.

The writers of the book “Public Relations- Strategies and Tactics” have mentioned four factors, which may create roadblocks to a persuasive message. These are:

i)    Lack of message penetration,

ii)   Competing messages,

iii)  Self-selection, and

iv)  Self-perception

Lack of message penetration results from the fact that the carrier of your persuasive message is not being attended by many of your audience. Moreover, the gate-keeping process may also damage the true spirit of your message. In the face of huge communication media and their constantly bombarding the audience with competing messages, the audience has been forced to sift messages suiting to their conditions.

Picking up or consumption of only those messages which suit to the taste, conviction or cause of the audience and ignoring information coming from other side, poses a big problem for a persuasive communicator. Potential audience of a Friday sermon are seldom found in the mosque. People perceive and interpret the messages in the light of their own predispositions. Because of this habit of self-perception the same message is differently understood by different people.