Persuade Anyone at Anytime

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In business and in life, your ability to persuade others can mean the
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Persuade With Power
Kurt Mortensen
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Even for the strongest individuals, their commitment level or willpower is not always constant. Willpower is like a battery. As you exercise your willpower throughout the day, the battery power starts to decline. What drains your battery? Fatigue, negative emotions, low blood sugar, suppression of emotions, and even peer pressure will drain your willpower battery faster than anything else.

An interesting study gives more credibility to this idea that willpower may actually be made stronger if given periods of recess. Researchers had college students arrive to participate in an experiment regarding taste perception (or so the students thought). The students were instructed to come to the study hungry by abstaining from foods for three hours prior to their arrival.

When they entered the room, they were greeted by the scent of freshly baked chocolate cookies, which were piled high on a side table, next to a bowl of freshly washed and trimmed radishes. As they entered the room, they were divided into two groups. One group was told they could only eat the chocolate chip cookies and the other only eat the radishes. They were then left alone to walk around the room as they waited for the researchers.

Obviously, the radish group of students had to exercise their willpower to refrain from eating the chocolate chip cookies and only eat the plain radishes. After five minutes, the students were told that they needed to wait for their sensory perception of the food to fade before performing a new task. This next, unrelated assignment (or so they thought) was to solve a puzzle. Unbeknownst to the students, the puzzles were unsolvable. The researchers just wanted to see how fast the subjects would give up on the puzzles.

Understanding different types of audiences will also help you determine their acceptance level. Following are some different categories of audiences and how to deal with each of them.

The Hostile Audience

This group disagrees with you and may even actively work against you. For a hostile audience, use these techniques:

-Find common beliefs and establish a common ground.
-Use appropriate humor to break the ice.
-Don’t start the presentation with an attack on their position.
-You are only trying to persuade on one point; don’t talk about anything else that could trigger disagreement.
-Because of your differences, they will question your credibility. 
-Increase your credibility with studies from experts or anything that will support your claim.
-They will try to find reasons to not like you; don’t give them any.
-Don’t tell them you are going to try to persuade them.
Express that you are looking for a win-win outcome rather than a win-lose situation.
-If possible, meet with the audience more than once before challenging them on areas of disagreement.
-Show them you’ve done your homework.
-Respect their feelings, values, and integrity.

This audience understands your position, but doesn’t care about the outcome. The key to dealing with this group is creating motivation and energy?be dynamic. To persuade the indifferent audience:

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