Persuasive communications are communications whose specific purpose is to gain agreement on something. The 2012 US election is certainly a great laboratory for observing how politicians approach persuasion in requesting your vote. Here are some other examples of communication situations where persuasion is the crux.

  • A lawyer’s closing statement to a jury on the guilt or innocence of a defendant
  • A job interview
  • Pickup lines in a bar conversation with a new acquaintance
  • An essay on a college entrance exam
  • A parent’s plea to improve their child’s grades and study habits

There are several synonyms for persuasive: trustworthy, influential, logical, charming, and articulate. These synonyms are the positive reactions that you want your message to cause in the audience you are trying to persuade. However, each of these attributes has a diversity of meanings to different people. For example, articulate means concise and expressive to me. To someone else, it might mean thorough and analytical. Charming means humorous and clever to me; to my wife, it means gentle and thoughtful. Like beauty, these attributes vary somewhat with the beholder. Once again, as the stakes of the communications increase, the need to understand your receiver and address their style preferences in your communications also increases.

As you watch the political process, ask yourself why, or why not, a candidate’s words are persuasive. Body language, facts, stories, references, style, track record and word selection all matter. And it is the integrated mixture of these things that results in a persuasive argument.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge