Monday, 9 September 2013

Be persuasive. 7 types of evidence to persuade people to your point of view.

Hi All,
I hope you are speaking well and getting heaps of tips from my blog. This time I am focusing on being persuasive. These  tips are based on over 30 years of English teaching and training in public speaking.

There are heaps of persuasive techniques. Just about all of them will enhance the talk. They are just techniques, not types of evidence. The following are the real solid ways of arguing. I will show you what to do and what not to do when you use them.

The seven types of evidence are: statistics, anecdote, analogy, quoting, logical sequence, precedence and hypothetical.
Let;s look at statistics. The references to numbers can be strongly persuasive. When you quote numbers they make an impact. To say that 1/10 of the world only has clean drinking water is quite shocking. If we say that only 1% of the water in the world is drinkable is also shocking. The trick with statistics is to make them real. If you want to say 200,000 it is better to say that is 2 times the capacity of the MCG. Do not over use statistics. Just one two or three sets of figures otherwise it is going to become boring and you will lose the audience. They usually cannot hold onto more than three figures.

An anecdote (or case study) is a very effective way of illustrating a point. When you tell a story the audience can see and hear it. They can relate to it. If you add colour and detail it will be even more effective. Remember, it is just a story and just one example, but it does make the point real. The story of Anna Frank means more to most people than the statistic of 6,000,000 people killed for being Jews and gypsies and homosexuals. Opening with an anecdote can be terrific.

An analogy is a comparison. When you use an analogy again your audience can see it and it makes the point interesting. The trick with analogies is to make sure the two things have a lot in common. Comparing trams and elephants as means of transport could be very effective if you are showing ways of people moving through their environment.

When you quote and expert, a piece of literature, someone famous and even your grandparent, it carries weight. There is something about a quote that allows people to connect with it. If the quote rhymes and is clever, so much the better. Starting and finishing with a quote is an excellent idea.

By logical sequence I mean cause and effect or even what naturally follows. When you speak you want a mix of logic and emotion. The logic of a point will appeal to the heads of your audience, while the emotions should appeal to their hearts. Be careful, there needs to be a causal link between the two ideas. Does violence on television lead to violence in society? Or vice versa?

Precedence is a big work for another time or place. When you refer to history it can work well. The example of the Prohibition in America in the 30's show what happens when things are banned. Likewise the banning of pot has just sent it underground.

A hypothetical  or scenario is one of my favourite ways of arguing. It can be a positive picture in the future or a negative picture. It is very hard to argue against because it is made up. What will the world look like in the year 2030? Will the global warming ruin the world? or will we  solve the problems through science?.

Next blog I will look at the persuasive techniques. There are many and I will share some of the best ones.

Till next time,

Judith  Direct Speech