6 Phrases That Instantly Persuade People

How to Persuade Someone to Do Something

Three Methods:

We all need a little help sometimes. In order to get the assistance we need, we must be effective at persuading others. By using effective speaking skills, by engaging in active listening, and by creating effective conditions in advance, we can sharpen our persuasive abilities and convince anyone to do what we need them to. These skills can also build confidence, and prepare you for competent leadership.


Speaking Effectively

  1. Tell a good backstory.People are compelled by personal stories. When you ask for something, start at the beginning and tell a coherent narrative. Why are you asking for this? What are the emotional and/or personal elements tied to this need? Sharing this info will significantly up your persuasion points.
    • In general, just tell the truth! You didn't come upon this opportunity or develop this need out of thin air. Tell the story of how you arrived here.
    • It is OK to add some drama to the story. What obstacles have you overcome? What continues to stand in your way? How has your passion, diligence, or street-smarts allowed you to persevere?
  2. Use ethos, pathos, and logos.According to Aristotle, there are three pillars of rhetorical persuasion. These are ethos (a speaker’s credibility), pathos (emotional appeals), and logos (appeals to logic). When you converse with the person you’re trying to convince, include information about your credibility, provide a logical argument, and find a way to tug at their heartstrings.
    • Explain your credentials. How long have you been working in a given field or researching a particular investment opportunity? This speaks to your ethos.
    • Lay out what you need logically. How can this be a benefit to them as well as to you? This will be a logos-based argument.
    • Try to get them emotionally invested. What would it mean to you if they were to help? This is an appeal to pathos.
  3. Put your request in the right order.Commonly, we have the tendency to try and sweet talk the person we’re requesting something from. Unfortunately, this often has the opposite effect: making your kind words seem disingenuous. Instead, come right out and ask for what you want, and then say a few nice things.
    • Instead of saying: “Hi! I haven’t seen you in so long. Congratulations on everything you’ve been up to! It all looks great. By the way, I am wondering if you would be able to help with a project.”
    • Try it this way: “Hi! I am wondering to see if you can help me with a project. I haven’t seen you in so long. Congratulations on everything you’ve been up to! It all looks great.”
    • Using the second format surprisingly makes you seem more sincere.
  4. Don’t ask them to make a decision.Generally speaking, people don’t like to make decisions. Even simple choices can be stressful. So don’t give the person you’re persuading a surplus of options. Simply ask for what you need as directly as possible and make it easy for them to say yes.
    • For example, if you would like someone to help you move into a new apartment, simply tell them the date, the time, and exactly what you need from them.
    • You may be tempted to offer flexible moving dates, flexible times, or other accommodations, but ironically, these excess decisions are more likely to cause stress and influence them to say no.
  5. Speak in the affirmative.People respond most effectively to declarative, positive statements. Don’t dance around what you want to say. Give clear directions, and provide affirmative statements.
    • Rather than saying, “Don’t hesitate to call me,” you should say, “Give me a call on Friday.”

Listening Effectively

  1. Start with small talk.Begin your persuasive conversation by having a friendly chat with the person you'd like to persuade. This can help to break the ice and create a casual atmosphere. People will be better persuaded when they are relaxed.
    • Try to know a little bit about their lives. Use this as a jumping off point. Can you ask about the daughter who was recently married, the new home, or the recent accomplishment?
    • Ask questions. If they say, "I've been thinking about taking a vacation," ask them where they'd like to go. Ask for more details about that place.
  2. Listen to body language.One easy way to forge an emotional bond is to match the other person’s body language. Pay attention to what they do with their body and mirror those expressions. Mirroring body language is a non-verbal way to say, “We are like minded.”
    • If they are smiling, you should smile.
    • If they are leaning in, you should lean in.
    • If they are taking up lots of space with their body, make your body bigger too.
  3. Listen more than you speak.People enjoy talking more than they enjoy listening. By listening more than you speak, you can get your person to open up and feel at ease. The more they talk, the more they reveal crucial details about themselves--such as what is important to them or what they believe--that can aid in your persuasion.
    • Avoid spinning the conversation back to yourself too quickly. If they are talking about a vacation, don't immediately jump in to describe the vacationyou'dlike to have.
    • Ask follow up questions, and listen intently to the responses.
    • Pay specific attention to any powerful adjectives they use. If they say something is “amazing” or “wonderful” this indicates something they have passion about.
  4. Use “fill-in-the-blanks.” Sometimes when you ask someone a direct question, it can trigger feelings of being on the spot. To avoid this feeling, mix fill-in-the-blank style queries with traditional questions.
    • Instead of asking, “How would you feel about buying a new car?” try stating, “If you were to buy a new car, you would feel…”
    • Allow them to finish that sentence for you.
  5. Move the conversation towards "needs." Casually steer the conversation toward needs. Hopefully, by listening to them, you have already ascertained a little bit about what they like or what they care about. Use this "needs" portion of the conversation to determine how you can help them, so that they will help you.
    • You may ask, for example, “What could make you day go smoother?”
    • Sharing a need of your own can prompt them to speak about their own needs. You could say, “I wish my investment partner would listen to my ideas,” in order to find out if there is some interpersonal lack in their life.

Setting the Stage

  1. Choose the right person to persuade.Chances are, there are a few different people who could give you what you want. How do you know which one to persuade? The best person will be the one with whom you are already have the strongest personal connection, who is in the best place emotionally, and/or who may need something from you as well. Aim to for two out of three of these conditions.
  2. Wait until after lunch.People are more likely to be open and helpful if they are not hungry. Hunger can stir up anxiety, tension, and negative emotions. Allow your persuasion to be most effective by planning your conversation to occur right after lunch.
  3. Help them, so they’ll help you.Reciprocity builds trust and fortifies relationships. If you know you will be asking someone for a big favor, pave the way by helping them out ahead of time. If you see them in need of assistance, be the first to step up. Even helping them with a small task, such as carrying a heavy object or washing the dishes, can put you in their good graces, and position you as a good candidate for a future favor.
  4. Choose the right environment.Studies have shown that people are more likely to be “business minded” (thrifty, selfish, and/or aggressive) in business-like environments. You can guide someone toward a more generous mood by altering the location. Try speaking to them in a coffee shop, restaurant, or private home, rather than across a conference table.
  5. Practice what you’re going to say.If you want to be convincing, you’ve got to seem like you know what you’re talking about. In order to come across as confident, practice your key talking points ahead of time. If possible, it will be helpful to rehearse your conversation with another person. If no one is available, practicing in a mirror can be great as well.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What can I do if I am trying to persuade my dad to give me a dog?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Don't try too hard. If you keep pestering him, he won't get you a dog. Instead, try helping around the house a little more. Show that you are responsible. Don't bring it to his attention that you're doing this, let him realize it on his own. Also, try saving up for money to buy necessities for the dog, such as food, the dog itself, toys, a bed, crate, collar and leash, etc.
Unanswered Questions
  • How can I convince my parents to change schools?
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  • Be polite.
  • Try not to be pushy.
  • Convey emotions that you want your recipient to have so that he or she feels persuaded to do it.


  • Don't get too emotional.
  • Don't come off as unsure of what you are doing.
  • Being persistent does not mean being desperate. Desperation is a huge turnoff.
  • If persuasion fails, do not whine or beat yourself up. It could lead to depression.

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Date: 04.12.2018, 10:36 / Views: 62452