In this series, Bob Morris poses a key question and then responds to it with material from one or more of the business books he has reviewed for Amazon and Borders.
Harry Mills is the CEO of The Mills Group and author of several books, notably Artful Persuasion (2000), The Rainmaker’s Toolkit (2004), The StreetSmart Negotiator (2005), and most recently Power Points! (2007).
Here’s his advice in response to the question posed: “How to use compelling evidence to be more persuasive?”
Testimonials enhance persuasiveness when they come from sources your audience considers expert and credible.
Examples capture people’s attention by turning generalizations and abstractions into concrete proof.
Statistics become especially effective if you make them understandable and memorable. One of the best ways to make them memorable is to anchor both examples and statistics in a human context with which people can identify.
Graphics such as slides, flip charts, videotapes, and product samples can boost your success. That’s because 75% of what people learn is acquired visually. Therefore, Mills suggests, “Choose a medium that’s appropriate to your message; convey one concept per slide or visual; and consider the psychological effect of colors.”
My own term for this is “experiential persuasion” as opposed a traditional, didactic, “pound it into their skulls” approach.
I also highly recommend these sources:
Persuading People (Harvard Pocket Mentor Series)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Robert B. Cialdini
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
Noah J. Goldstein
The Definitive Book of Body Language
Comments, questions, requests, or suggestions? Please share them. They will be most welcome and I thank you for them. Best regards, Bob