The power of persuasion can be an extremely powerful tool when it is individually mastered to its fullest potential. It could affect whether you’re able to clinch that dream job after the interview or make that million dollar sale after hours of convincing a customer.
How to be more persuasive
Although you look dashingly smart and eloquent, unfortunately, focusing too much on how you present your pitch instead of whether what’s being said makes sense or not, will not be a boon for your power of persuasion. However, having said that, being presentable is still an important element to be persuasive but its importance is being superseded by having a clear, logical and irrefutable argument.
If you’re looking for concrete solutions on how to be more persuasive, here are 7 fallacies you should stop committing as they can weaken your power of persuasion.
1. Exaggerating Opposing Ideas
When debaters deploy this technique, what they’re actually trying to do is to undermine the credibility of the opposing idea by making the opponent seem extreme. For example in an everyday context, you might choose to omit certain facts of what’s actually been said in a heated argument between you and your partner. By saying that your partner hates kids when he or she merely just wants to shelve that plan to build a more secure future before the baby comes is a fine example.
By exaggerating, not only would you undermine your own credibility in the argument, you are also jeopardising the strength of your future arguments in the debate.
2. Taking It Too Personal
Debates or arguments might sometimes get so heated up, you might think it’s fine to take a swing at something personal. For example, by calling someone a crafty and untrustable person just because they look like one, only presents a weak argument from your side.
As much as possible, refrain from getting too personal but instead, argue against the idea, not the person.
3. Using Fear Tactics Without Evidence
We’d like to believe that appealing to the sense of fear would get our arguments across easily. Yes, it is worth looking at how to be more persuasive because when our audience is struck with fear, they’re susceptible to believing extreme claims of what can happen if they’re not willing to accept the argument.But that is only if these claims are backed with evidence.
Nothing would destroy your credibility faster than fabricating or exaggerating on facts and having your audience see through those lies.
4. Appeal To Ignorance
When you dismiss something to be untrue, it doesn’t mean that the opposite is true either. For example, you can’t say that the iPhone is the best smartphone in the world just because Samsung may not be considered the best since there have been instances where their phones exploded. There are other phones out there that are on par with the iPhone.
By choosing to ignore hard facts and going straight to validate a claim, not only are you showing people how shallow your depth of knowledge is, you’re also making yourself vulnerable to a strong counter-attack.
5. Using The Majority
By using the majority to back up a claim and to say that it is something “accepted” by many, is one of the fallacies we commonly use in our arguments. Like most of the argument fallacies we commit, laying claim to something that is accepted by the masses, when it clearly isn’t, would only spell trouble for your arguments.
If you’re a computer salesman for example, and you convince the customer that the computer is well received by the masses, only for them to find out otherwise later, then your credibility will be tarnished and you definitely won’t have them coming back to you.
6. Using Flowery Anecdotes
Using anecdotes can definitely put a point across as it helps to put things into perspective. But when you replace hard data with flowery anecdotes that don’t even hold water then people will start to think that you’re just full of hogwash.
Anecdotes such as praising oneself have a weak argument to it. For example, coming back to being a salesperson; if you’re trying to convince a customer by telling him or her that you’ve been very honest and that many people have bought the product and believed in it, chances are, you’re not going to get far with that argument simply because you don’t have the evidence to back that claim up.
Overgeneralizing and stereotyping are keys to failure. By judging a person or something based on one bad experience, you are only showing how ignorant you are to omit the good that’s been experienced by others.
For example, by saying that China makes sub-par products based on just one bad experience only makes for a lacklustre argument.
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