Seven Tips to Help You to Be More Persuasive

Seven Tips to Help You to Be More Persuasive
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Out of all the social skills, the need to convince, persuade, and create a positive impact on others is almost as important as was the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. Indeed, knowing how to be more persuasive can prove to be the answer to many of your personal and professional needs. As a matter of fact, it’s only if you know how to impose your ideas via effective arguments that you’ll be successful.

However, this is no easy task. Because you often harbor certain insecurities, possess weak points, and tend to have immature communication skills. These deficiencies extinguish your charisma and close certain doors to you. Nevertheless, making use of good verbal and non-verbal communication is the key that’ll allow you to cross those thresholds and allow you to achieve your goals.

In reality, there are many variables that’ll help you to be more persusasive. Furthermore, the most positive thing is that you can learn and develop them effectively. As the French writer and philosopher Germaine de Staël said, intelligent people can be convinced but the most naive must be persuaded. This ability is something well worth empowering yourself with.

“You will never persuade a mouse that a black cat is lucky.”

-Graham Greene-

Politician talking about how to be more persuasive.

Seven tips to help you to be more persuasive

Apparently, one of the most convincing scammers of all time was George C. Parker. In fact, this con man spent between 1883 and 1928 ‘selling’ the Brooklyn Bridge. His strategy was as innovative as it was masterful. He convinced people that he was the owner of this masterpiece of engineering.

His objective was in proposing a sale of the bridge so that whoever made the purchase could put up a toll booth. The business (if it were real) would’ve been incredibly lucrative. Needless to say, Parker’s persuasive skills were so effective that many naive people fell for his scam.

As a matter of fact, this con man spent his entire life committing highly original scams. However, in 1928, he was arrested and sentenced to life in Sing Sing prison, New York.

George C. Parker was a criminal. Nevertheless, at the same time, he serves as a reference for those who want to be more persuasive. Because the art of presenting an argument and getting it to be processed, not only as valid, but also as interesting, is a true gift. This high-level persuasive process involves taking into account a number of variables. We take a closer look at them.

The ability to be convincing requires developing good persuasion skills. This means impacting on the emotions of the other with the use of logic, reason, and charisma.

1. Make a good impression

In the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman mentioned a bias that has great power. This is the halo effect. It’s what makes you believe that every kind, friendly, positive, and attractive person is to be trusted.

Therefore, if you make a good impression, you’re more likely to be convincing.

2. Use emotional intelligence

What’s the most important strategy to use for being more convincing? Emotional intelligence is a versatile and effective tool when it comes to providing good arguments and demonstrating reliability, confidence, and charisma. The reason lies in the good control of your own emotions and the understanding of what your audience or interlocutor needs.

Only when you connect with the emotions of others do you create a stronger bond. This helps you convince them of your ideas and arguments.

3. Good tone, confidence, fluency, and not speaking too fast

When it comes to demonstrating the validity of your words and reasoning to persuade or captivate someone, you should take note of several communicative factors:

  • You must use a medium tonality, neither too high nor too low.
  • You must take care of your fluency and expressiveness. Pronounce your words well, be flexible and expressive, and you’ll capture their attention and interest.
  • Don’t speak too fast or too slowly. In fact, experts like Robert Cialdini recommend 3.5 words per second.

4. Show your authority and knowledge

You should know what you’re talking about. However, you don’t have to be a guru. What’s more, what you say doesn’t necessarily have to be irrefutable. Remember George C. Parker.

The secret is in preparing solid arguments, conveying your conviction in them, and knowing how to clearly demonstrate that knowledge.

When it comes to being convincing, you first need to prepare thoroughly what you’re going to say. Secondly, and even more relevant, is to believe what you’re going to say.

5. Pay attention to your non-verbal communication

Radboud University in Nijmegen (Netherlands) conducted a study that suggested gestures and expressions have great persuasive power. Therefore, if you pay attention to your non-verbal communication you’ll be far more convincing.

You should address the following strategies:

  • Keep your hands in sight.
  • Look your interlocutor in the eye.
  • Move your arms and show fluidity and emotional openness with them.
  • Smile.
  • Try not to fiddle with objects, like pens, while you’re talking, or to touch your hair, as these gestures suggest insecurity.
women talking about how to be more convincing

6. Provide as much detail as possible

Any argument will have greater credibility if it’s accompanied by details. Therefore, you should be able to provide data, figures, and references and to respond to any possible doubts on the part of your interlocutor. Indeed, the more information you have, the more authority and validity you demonstrate.

7. Cultivate empathy

You may not know the person in front of you. You may even be speaking to an audience. How can you project empathy to an audience or an unknown figure? You need to make them believe that you know them. Therefore, look for connections and appeal to their emotions. Let them know that you understand what they’re feeling and what they need.

Once more, it’s a question of spinning your arguments with the thread of emotions. This is the only way to build the kind of closeness and connection that means they’ll see you as a reliable and convincing figure. They’re strategies that anyone can develop. Furthermore, they’ll undoubtedly improve your chances of success.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cacioppo, John T.; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Petty, Richard E. (April 2018). “The neuroscience of persuasion: A review with an emphasis on issues and opportunities” Social Neuroscience. 13 (2): 129–172. doi:10.1080/17470919.2016.1273851
  • Developing Effective Communication Skills. (2007). Journal of oncology practice3(6), 314–317.
  • S. C. Matz, M. Kosinski, G. Nave, D. J. Stillwell (2017) Psychological targeting in digital mass persuasion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nov 2017, 114 (48) 12714-12719; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710966114

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.