Almost every communication in our life bears the element of persuasion. Persuasion is an important element of any business communication. The definition of persuasion. The definition of persuasive communication.
Five stages of understanding of the speech by the audience implied by the persuasive communication.
Three techniques that will make any business communication more persuasive: the message should be built around the other person’s interests; the pronoun “you” should be used instead of “I” and “me”; different barriers to persuasiveness such as misspelled word and grammar mistakes should be eliminated. The importance of body language in making business communication persuasive should not be underestimated.
Action points or specific tasks for the audience should be clarified.
Conclusion – Persuasion is a constituent part of every business communication. In order to persuade the audience some strategies should be put into practice and thus you will succeed.
“I wasn’t a great communicator,
but I communicated great things”
All business communications, at least the majority of them, are persuasive and aimed at convincing the other people to think and to act as we would like them to. Almost everything of what we communicate contains the persuasion component in it. There is a simple example of this idea. Thus, the most intriguing words in English language “I love you” can be uttered self-sacrificing and self-serving. The self-sacrificing meaning presupposes that the person who utters these words wants to give something to the other person. But the self-serving meaning is the opposite one: it presupposes that the one who utters these words expects some profit from them from the other person.
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Persuasion is a very important element of any business communication. It can be used for various purposes: to convince someone in your point of view, to make someone change his or her ideas about something, to resolve disputes. Persuasive communications are not restricted to a definite sphere of business; they are common for all business industries. Thus, a politician may use persuasive strategies in order to influence voters to vote in his favor. Thereby, persuasion is “an important concept to employ when endeavoring to alter the attitudes, beliefs and mindsets of others in order to encourage them to endorse your way of thinking” (Wakeling 2010). Persuasion alongside with good negotiating skills will ensure that you get the best possible deal negotiating terms and contracts with clients and suppliers.
There is one more definition of persuasion. Persuasion is “a communicative process of altering the beliefs, attitudes, intentions or behavior of another by the conscious and unconscious use of words and non-verbal messages” (Ilardo, 1981). Persuasive communication is “any message that is indented to shape, reinforce, or change the responses of another, or others” (Stiff, Mongeau, 2003).
Persuasive speech is usually intended to influence both individuals and groups of people to accept a particular belief or position. The speech that is persuasive requires an intense listener focus and a clear understanding of the audience. Persuasive speech presupposes that the speaker should take the audience through five stages of understanding (Flacks, Rasberry, 1982): awareness of the problem; understanding the problem; understanding the proposed solution; visualization of the effects of the proposed solution; understanding how they, the audience, must act. So, first the audience should be introduces into the nature of the problem or situation. The speaker should give the concise statement of the problem from his or her point of view. It is very important that the relevance of the problem is shown to the audience; in other words, the way the problem can affect them. The speaker describes the possible solution to the problem and shows the audience how the suggested solution can benefit them in particular. And finally, the speaker points out the aid that can be done by the audience, indicating the actions that must be taken.
Considering the fact that everyone needs to convince other people in something, it is worth exploring three simple ideas that are easy to use (Abbott 2010). These ideas or techniques will definitely make any business communication situation more effective.
First, one should always bear in mind that persuasive communication is always focused on the other person. Thus, when we write or speak, we should always have the other person in sight. One of the most important components of effective communication is to ensure the listener that he or she is an important part of your vision. Thus, using the word “we” instead of “I” and “me” will help to attract the listener’s attention and to conciliate him or her. The person will get more involved in what you tell and thus you will have more influence over your listener. It would be wise to place yourself in the mindset of your audience and to identify what is the attitude of your audience towards what you are going to discuss with them. You will be able to use the information you get to identify how you can persuade your audience in your ideas.
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Thus, communication will definitely be more convincing when the message is built around the other person. So, if someone is to be convinced in something, our attention should be concentrated of this person’s interests and response. You should address the issues in his or her terms in order to get the desired response. Thus, if you sell something you should think and talk about his or her benefits after buying this product but not about your income.
Second, while persuading someone you should use persuasive words. Once it was already observed that our attention should focus on the other person’s interest, we should thing over the choice of words while preparing a written document or a speech. Most of the persuasive expressions most frequently used in the business communication contain the pronoun “you”. And it is not occasionally. The reason to this frequent usage of the pronoun you is that most people consider this word to be “the single most powerful word in their vocabularies, bettering even words like the classic words referring to the idea of getting something without paying and to having intimate relations” (Abbott 2010). Besides, using this word helps you to focus your attention on the recipient’s interests and profits. Writing a letter or preparing a speech it is worth trying to use “you” in every paragraph. That will definitely add to the persuasiveness of your message in business communication.
Third, it is necessary to eliminate various barriers to persuasiveness. It is useful to remember that no matter how good the products you try to sell are, some people just do not need them and therefore are not interested in the speeches dedicated to the usefulness of the product you sell. This point is worth remembering. However sometimes even if a person needs a product someone sells the incompetence of a manager can spoil everything. Thus, making your message persuasive you’d better not forget to avoid spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, missing or misplaced punctuation marks and many other writing sins. It may happen to every one of us in life, but if your intention is to persuade someone you’d better avoid these things. Making mistakes, we distract our readers from the subject of the business communication and that undoubtedly reduces the power of persuasion.
Besides, apart from the correct choice of words, you must be also sure to use the correct body language. The role of the body language in communication especially in business communication should not be underestimated. Body language is an “important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating” (Using Body Language). Thus, be sure, you remember to use effective body language alongside with words, as your body can help you to gain attention of your audience and win their favor. Eye contact should be maintained and it is also appropriate to greet your audience with a firm hand shake (if the number of people you have to persuade is not too large). You should also stand up straight and avoid shifting from side to side. Confidence in your movements and words will make your audience believe you and thus you will be able to persuade them.
Being persuasive also mean that you should clarify action point. You should give your audience action points or specific tasks to carry out if you want to be persuasive. Thus you will ensure them that they can act on what they were persuaded to do. Thus, if you are a manager who persuades a member of your work team to do some job, you should give him a deadline for his responsibilities. This will definitely ensure that you carried through your persuasive communication and met the objectives.
To sum it up, the idea of persuasive business communication is that it should be thoroughly prepared beforehand according to various strategies and techniques. Thus there are three important techniques that may help to raise the persuasiveness of your messages in business communication. It is important to focus your attention on people receiving your message; it is necessary to use the pronoun “you” as frequently as possible; it is necessary to eliminate barriers that may lessen persuasiveness in business communication, such as grammar and spelling mistakes. Any of these techniques will do a lot to make any business communication more persuasive, but if all of them are used, you are sure to have successful negotiations. It is also important to think it over before the communication whether persuasion is the goal of your message, either directly or indirectly. If it is, then three techniques will do their work and provide you persuasive business communication. Besides, it is also worth to remember that body language influences persuasiveness in business communication very much. The unprepared written message or speech will never be persuasive. It should be definitely prepared. However, it is not impossible and if some efforts are put, it is really possible to make a business communication really persuasive.
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