According to John Baldoni If you need to make an argument about an issue about which you feel very strongly, don’t use rhetoric. Tell a story.
He gave an example, and here is it:
Representative Keith Ellison spoke to the press before hearings convened by Representative Peter King to investigate the radicalization of American Muslims in the United States. After making his case about why Muslims were being unjustly singled out by the hearings, Ellison closed his statement with a story about Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a paramedic who perished on 9/11 while trying to rescue those trapped in the Twin Towers. Ellison described how some sought to tarnish Hamdani’s sacrifice by calling attention to his Islamic faith. The story, and Ellison’s emotional delivery, helped make his message powerful.
This example shows how you can make a point without putting people on the defensive. It’s usually hard to look away from your goal for a bit but that’t what you need to do. Don’t be in a hurry to convince people, work on your story.
Why Persuasion is Necessary Skill
There is no career path or position you find yourself that does not require you to persuade others. The amount of belief people place in a path, determines how well it would succeed. If you are in business or at work, you need to be persuasive with your colleagues. At home, there are a lot of decisions that require the cooperation of every member. The more time you spend working on your persuasive ability, the less you spend resolving conflict.
A personal lesson
I remember during my service year, I had a plan to raise money for an orphanage visit. I talked to my boss and others to raise money for the visit, her reply has ever stuck with me. She said “you are the one who had an intention to reach out to orphans for your birthday, just go with the little you are able to raise and if others are interested, they should do the same but don’t expect such from people.” I am just paraphrasing her statements.
You must be willing to accept that most people don’t know your back story and they would need more convincing than you do. Learn to tell stories. Here are simple tips to keep in mind when building your delivery:
- Never be in a hurry to tell it all.
- Understand your audience.
- Determine the core message and present it as early as possible.
- Don’t bore people with details they do not need.
- Give the story life, use imagery and descriptions.
- Personalize your story.
- Make the listener feel they are part of the story.
The list continues, but you can work with this seven points listed above. Persuasion is the oil of every process. When it runs dry, the system starts to grind uncomfortably.
You can learn more about persuasion and personal growth with the Designed life Academy. Click here for more information.
Damilola is a content curator and creator, he writes for the passion and the thrill. He has been published on Tuck Magazine, SGNT, VivaNaija and also shares some of his stories on jonathanoladeji.com. He has an eye for juicy content and loves to make brand ideas sell.