Management 306

Week 04

Welcome back. It's time for the persuasion lecture. Now I'm not going to be reading the slides exactly the PowerPoint, they are available on the website for you to review. I will be sticking a little more closely to them then I do in some because there's some really good information here and I want you to understand it a little bit better. Now, for persuasion, your goal is to persuade or convince your reader to agree with you. Either you're going to persuade your reader to agree with your position on a particular topic or you're actually going to be persuading your reader to do something. Sales is a form of persuasion and I'll be addressing sales after this in the next lecture and the next homework assignment. But, it's about convincing people. Now, typically, writing has two elements to it if you want to look at it very broadly. You have information, something you have to tell people about, just give them straight information and then you have to persuade on some level. Some writing is pure information, a report let's say for an office. But many things you write will contain some elements of both. It can be very short, like you could be sending an email or a text message to a friend saying, hey, let's meet for lunch. That's not really a lot of writing but again, that can contain the elements of both information and persuasion. Or it could be much longer, you could write a proposal for a funding for a business startup. You could be doing a business plan. And I've actually written a business plan, it's quite involved, quite long. You're asking somebody to read this plan and loan your money or give you money, to provide you money for your business, so you need a lot of information in there. But, it is functioning two things. It is information and it is also functioning as persuasion. So, for the kinds of persuasions that you will need to write, you can break that down into four different parts that you want to focus on and then get each of those parts correct. The four parts typically of persuasion are position, support, methods, and call to action. Now, this is going to sound very abstract and theoretical right now, so just hang in there with me a little bit and I'll try to help you understand how actually apply it to the words you have to put on the screen or on a piece of paper. The position is also your thesis, but typically that's just what's your point. In other words, what are you trying to convince me of? What is it that you want me to agree too? If you refer to persuasion in a political contact, if somebody wants your vote or if somebody wants you to agree with a political statement or passion. You also see persuasion in almost any purpose because that's what purposes really are, trying to persuade. And then if you think about it, advertisement contains persuasion because they're trying to convince you to go spend your money. So that's the first element, you just have to have a clear position on what it is that you're trying to persuade someone or convince someone. In addition to that, you also have what in English class we call support. Support is something that backs it up. If you recall I gave an example of asking your boss for a raise in a previous lecture. So, the position is, I want a raise, the support is, why you deserve a raise. What are your reasons for a raise? Those are supports. So, thoughts are your reasons. For example, some supports I have on these slides are, nutrition experts recommend daily servings of food with omega 3. That's a support trying to convince e you to eat more fish oil, or more omega 3. One child dies form hungers every six seconds. That's a support for, for example, a charity that's seeking contributions to deal with malnutrition and starvation epidemics. Especially in developing countries. Now, in addition to your position, and your support, with persuasion, you also are going to use techniques or methods to convince your reader. In other words, it's more than just giving the information. Now there's a new additional part to this. There's a part where you have to sell it, you have to convince someone to agree with you. This is what I want you to be thinking about for this lecture, is how do you do that? How do you get people to agree with you? What kind of technique? What kind of methods do you use to get somebody to agree with you? So, for example, here in the PowerPoint I have a couple of exams. I missed the midterm because my car broke down, can I make it up? Now that appeals to sympathy, that's a specific kind of emotional appeal and there are different kinds of appeals. It says, you know, I can't afford an expensive car, I'm just a poor student and I'm piling up student debt, and I wasn't able to get here, and it's not my fault, can I make up the midterm? Does it work? Sure, sometimes, possibly there are teachers where it doesn't for, but I would say there are also teachers that it does work for because that's something that goes outside of your control and that's very common not to have a lot of money for a nice car and cars do break down. We've all had car problems and if you haven't had them, your likely going to have them at some point because cars are mechanical objects that break down. And usually at the most inconvenient time. So that's an example of not only persuasion but using a specific type of persuasion, this one is appealing to sympathy. And there are others, and I'm going to talk a little about them and give you some specific examples of the different ways that you persuade somebody, the different kind of appeals that you can use to get somebody to agree with you. And then finally, this is an element of persuasion, the last piece is called, call to action. When you are constructing a piece of writing where you want somebody to agree with your ore you want somebody to do something, you want to end it with a specific sentence or several sentences that's a specific call. Do something now. Don't just read this and go, huh, I think you're right. But then take a step, take an action. I've been in meetings in corporate life where after the meeting they have the next steps. What are their actions to go forward from here? And they actually list them. You know, now that we've had these meetings, we've had this discussion, we've come to some agreement or not on what to do next, what do we now do? In other words, don't just end the meeting but end the meeting with, okay, what was the point of this meeting? So, let's have something actually come out of this. The same thing would be with a piece of writing, you would end It with, a persuasive piece of writing, you would end it with something. So, some examples of a call to action are click here, you know if you're on a website, order now and receive a free gift, or donate $50 to join this community. You see these sorts of statement that are trying to move you along. You see call to action frequently if you go car shopping. Stroll onto a dealer's lot and actually engage one of the car salesman who are there to sell you a car because selling to you is a very direct form of persuasion. I call it persuasion on steroids. That's what selling is, it is persuasive. And you know, if the car salesman has been trained properly, he or she, will be mobbing you along to a slaw. You know, let's go inside and look at the numbers, it's all to be pulling you along into this sale. SO, to take you from someone who's just checking out a car to someone who's actually going to buy a car. So, what I want to do is then go deeply into of those four elements, I want to go into the methods because this is the sort of new and different part of persuasion that I want you to think about specifically. You know, you understand the point, the passion. What's your point? And you understand supports because supports tend to be very straightforward and clear of an example of something, or a statistic or a fact, or a quote from an expert. Something along those lines. And then the call to action is very straightforward as well be abuse it's just, hype, do this now. Or here's the next step, take this, call me, we'll call you. But, the methods of the area I want you to focus on, be sure what you want to do is match your methods to your purpose. What it is your trying to persuade somebody to agree with. So, picking the right method can be very Picking the wrong method will be very ineffective. So, what you want to do is think about the different kinds of methods. So, I'm going to describe these methods. There are two categories. So, as you see we keep getting finer and finer here in terms of the elements were talking about. Some methods appeal to you on an intellectual level, they're appealing to your reason, if you think about Star Trek, the original Star Trek, I suppose even if you moved into the newer ones with Data. But the original Star Track because I'm really old. I'm as old as the Flintstones. You had mister Spock. Mister Spock was the perfect example of no emotion, all data, logical and reason. And of course, later on there was Data and so on, right? So, you have no emotion at all, all reason. But then the opposite of this is all emotion and no reason. So, you can appeal to reason intellectually. We can appeal to emotion which is emotionally. So, what I say, is you appeal to the head or appeal to the heart. Appealing to the head is reason. Appealing to the heart, is emotion Both of these work, both of these can be very effective if you understand how to apply them and apply them correctly. Now, let me dispense with the first one more quickly which is appealing to reason because again, very straightforward this is what you see in a lot of scientific, peer-reviewed, articles or academic articles they are not connecting to you on an emotional level or connecting to you on the intellectual level. Sometimes people accuse scientific articles of being very dry and boring. When you remove the emotion it certainly does appear that way. But there's a reason for writing those articles in that format. You are removing the subjective nature of the person who's doing the writing or doing the investigation, doing the scientific experiment, and what you're left with is the actual facts. The underlying facts that occur the underlying things that actually happened, the underlying scientific principles, underlying, you know nature principles. But we want to find out what those are as readers so that we can then relay them or duplicate them which happens quite often. And so, we don't want to get involved in the individual scientist. We want to know what the scientist actually did it was concrete and specific so we can duplicate that and then rely on that, and build on that for further scientific development. So, you see a lot of that, not just in science but in other areas, where there's no emotion, it's about the underlying facts of what people have done. There are many examples that. I'm going to skip through those slides, so you can understand that while you can use that, and you will use that, especially for writing say, academic articles and so on primarily you're going to see the second form when you see persuasion. And that is going to be not appealing to your head intellectually but appealing to your heart emotionally. So, they call it appeal to emotion and that is where you are intentionally appealing to people's feelings, their emotions and you're using language that is loaded, emotionally loaded language. You're not necessarily saying things that can be proven, you're not a service saying things that are factually correct, what you're doing is you're appealing on a different level. This can be very powerful, this can be very effective, but again, you have to understand what it is you're doing so that you can use it correctly. I have an example here from Coca-Cola. Now Coke is not necessarily a drink that has a lot of nutrition in it. I think that's fairly well established, that sodas are generally not the healthiest thing to drink. But yet Coke sells enormous amount of Coca-Cola worldwide there they're an enormous it's enormous business all the sodas are take a tremendous amount of revenue worldwide. And to sell you a Coke they can't tell you what's in a Coke. If they did they would say that it contains things like phosphoric acid and caffeine and in caramel color and a lot of sugar by the way. None of that's going to be good for you and most of that you probably would be better off not eating or drinking or consuming. So, what does Coke do to sell you a Coke? Well, they have things like, have a Coke and a smile, and these are actual ads from Coke, have a Coke and a smile, things go better with Coke, it's the real thing. You know some of these are pretty old by the way, but over the years the Coca-Cola Bottling Company you know the Coca-Cola has realized that the way to sell Coke is not through an appeal to your intellect by telling you how healthy it is for you, which it isn't. Instead, it's to appeal to you on an emotional level. Your life will be better if you have a Coke. You know which may or may not be true you'll certainly have more cavities nevertheless, Coke understands selling things on an emotional level, appealing to you emotionally is going to be more persuasive than appealing to you on an intellectual level. So, I have a list in the slides of various kinds of ways you can connect to someone on emotional level. Since emotion is extremely effective if done properly. And I'm just going to give you a few samples here, you're certainly welcome to go through the PowerPoint material and read them on your own. I just want you to get some sense of how many different ways you can take advantage of appealing to emotion. Keep in mind, that if done properly, appealing to emotion is effective and persuasive. Done wrong, it comes across as very manipulative and cynical. So, when you do this just understand that what you're doing is you're trying to persuade someone, but it's your decision as the author what you choose to do, how you choose to say it. And now I'm about the searches list, but just before, I want to say one more thing which is that, think about how you react when people try to persuade you. Think about what is effective for you on an emotional level and what is not effective for you on the emotional level. Think about when you've been impressed or when you've been moved towards a position or towards, maybe buying something. Because of what the persuasive technique was use and you versus when you felt something was wrong. When you felt it was either dishonest or whether you felt it was inappropriate or whatever. The key here is going to be for you to understand that you will react if other people react as well. So, you have to sort of use judgment and it isn't just understanding of the choices use your best judgement about what you think will be most effective. So, some examples of appealing to people on an emotional level these are categories. These are in the messy category box. You can appeal the age for an example, they haven't made a good car since 1969. The obstinate by the way is appealed a novelty, in other words, this latest diet is the best diet ever. Sometimes saying something's very old, it can be effective and persuasive sometimes saying something is very new can be effective persuasive. Just depends on what it is you're talking about. Or you can appeal to authority, for example. The Surgeon General says that eating right reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis. The Surgeon General is a certain general for a reason. He or she simply knows a heck of a lot more about medicine than I do, so I accept this person of authority is a trained and knowledgeable and skilled and I'm certainly impressed by that, and that's persuading us. That's helping to persuade me in that right direction. You can appeal to consequences. If I cheated on my test I could never sleep at night. Now, yes, I know maybe some people listening to this, that doesn't persuade you, that doesn't move you. Nevertheless, for others it might. But appealing to the consequences of an action is a way to help persuade people because you now you're connecting, again, these are emotional connections, emotional appeal. I mentioned flattery before. Here's another example of flattery. I needed a beautiful woman to endorse my product, so naturally I thought of you. You see, flattery as an appeal to emotions used in many, many, many, different ways. Obviously, there's a lot of advertising that appeals to flattery. There's appeal to fear. My sister accidentally killed herself, she died of skin cancer. That's a very shocking and scary line and believe it or not, it's an actual real line that was used by the American Cancer Society in their ads. So, factually or not and it is I'm sure there was some fact to it because the American Cancer Society is usually pretty careful with what they say, this is a very emotionally powerful statement that should be persuading him. And you see more of these for example, appeal to pity. You know I talked about the sympathy, the appeal of sympathy for the broken car. Through the Feed a Child Program your gift of just ten dollars a month can save starving children and give them a future. Again, these are real examples of people who have, of organizations, who have chosen to use emotional appeals to persuade their readers of whatever their position is. There are many other examples in here, so you're free to go through those on your own. The point I want to make about persuasive writing, specifically, is that it's more than just writing those sentences and assembling them into paragraphs and thinking, okay I've got it. What makes you a more effective writer, a more effective communicator, a more skilled writer, a more skilled communicator, what makes you better at this? Is really starting to understand the pieces that go into doing something, consciously, being very aware of the pieces. It's not just writing a couple sentences in a paragraph and thinking, wow, you know that's going to convince somebody or something. What is the purpose? What was your point, and did you choose an appeal? Either an intellectual appeal or an emotional appeal and then what kind of emotional deal? Did you choose an appeal that was going to be the most effective for persuading your reader or readers? So, understanding what you're doing, helps you then make good choices when you go to put those words down on a screen or on a piece of paper. Okay, so thank you for reviewing the persuasion lecture.