moderately from the listener's beliefs (Michener, DeLamater &
STEP SIX: Make an emotional appeal as well as a logical one but
don't over do it.
Prepare well when you decide to persuade someone. Follow all the
steps above. Spell out all the reasons for your position. Indicate why
your proposal is the wisest and most moral solution. Vividly describe
the satisfactions that will result from carrying out your proposal. Point
out the dangers and folly of doing otherwise (it has been shown that
scary messages are effective if doing nothing will lead to serious
consequences and if another practical course of action is available).
Example: the fears of cancer and heart disease have reduced cigarette
On the other hand, getting into a heated, emotional argument is
seldom persuasive. No one wins when the verbal fight gets nasty.
Likewise, an emotional tirade, even though others listen attentively,
almost never persuades anyone. When someone is highly emotional,
we tend to assume that he/she is biased and unable to see the whole
situation clearly. So, use powerful emotional appeals, e.g. 42,000
children die every day from preventable diseases or 500,000
teenagers attempted suicide last year, but don't scream nasty names
at people because they haven't been acting promptly to correct these
STEP SEVEN: Listen to opposing views. Prepare the audience to
argue against the opposing views.
Give all your reasons (rational and emotional) at one time, but let
the listeners raise questions and objections at any time. Listen
patiently and carefully; respond with relevant facts. After giving your
arguments, it is a good strategy to give the listener a preview of the
opposing argument and the reasons why that view is wrong. This is
"immunization against counter-arguments."
STEP EIGHT: Leave your opponent a way out.
Be respectful of the opposing viewpoint and provide them a way to
change their views without "eating crow." In some cases, you can
argue that the opponents would be better off adopting your views. Try
to make those predictions come true, if the listener accepts your
arguments. If you need to persuade only one person, make every
effort to talk to them alone. Observers tend to see yielders as less
intelligent, so it is easier to "change a person's mind" when you
interact with them in private.
STEP NINE: End the discussion with some agreement. If nothing
else, suggest a test of the different views.