This post on Persuasion is based on the art of rhetoric, it’s a bit different from what we Bromigos normally post about but something that’s helpful like Game in all aspects of life. I’ve read up quite a bit on rhetoric over the past few months from figures such as Aristotle, Cicero, Lincoln, Eminem and the Monty Python gang, I’m going to explore this in a few posts about Persuasion over the next week or so.
Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship and eloquence of ready wit and irrefutable logic. Whether you sense it or not, argument surrounds you. It plays with your emotions, changes your attitude, talks you into a decision, and goads you to buy things. Argument lies behind political labeling, advertising, jargon, voices, gestures, and guilt trips; it forms a real-life Matrix, the supreme software that drives our social lives. And rhetoric serves as an argument’s decoder. John Heinrichs
We of all people know that using pure logic never helps with arguments or discussions, people are appalled at the notion of manipulating but find when using pure logic these just leads to a rise in anger of those involved. Seduction (manipulation) used in persuasion is a great pacifier and yes it is manipulation, it’s why many people shy from it. Half of an argument is the manipulation itself. To reach the conclusion of an argument/discussion you want ‘consensus’, it’s more than an agreement and more than a compromise, it’s a shared faith in a choice, an action or decision that you want, it represents your audience’s commonsense thinking. Religious preachers know faith requires emotion and the persuasion behind it to create faith. People have to desire the act but they won’t want to fight, logic rarely get’s people to do anything. Seduction does not have to be sexual, it can be used everywhere and any time. Whilst doing a presentation, painting a picture of something you want to achieve to an audience, captivates them, involves them, they paint the picture too, get them to lust for what you are sharing. Argument by emotion is Pathos. This causes a mood change, makes an audience receptive to your logic and gives them an emotional commitment to your goal. It is an act of persuasion.
An example would be a chiasmus, a criss-cross, “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country“. “Either we control expenses or let expenses control us”. “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
Cicero tells us a 3 different ways to persuade an audience (art of persuasion)
Stimulate your audience’s emotions
Change it’s opinion
Get it to act.
We’ll concentrate on emotions today, on some instances it can take all 3 to run through. Changing the mood is the easiest of the lot, by changing your audience’s emotion they become vulnerable to your argument, manipulate so they are in the mood to listen.
Sympathy – the early catholic church used this very successfully in converting pagans. They were rhetorical masters. You register a concern for their emotions. Over sympathising makes them ashamed of an emotion you want to change. You are making their mood seem ridiculous without actually calling it out as ridiculous.
Simon across from me was angry this morning that he did not receive any recognition for his work in helping his team be the first to pass a new company examination.
Me: Fuck, they gave you nothing at all, not even a message to all the staff?
Simon: Nope, fuck all mate
Me: Man you work so hard as well
Simon: Yeah i know
Me: They should have given you a 50% pay rise
Simon: It was an easy exam!
Yeah I embarrassed him, he felt much better for sure but I agreed with him so much he ended up siding with his company.
Belief: Using Experience and Expectation you are setting the key to emotion. Experience can be the audience’s own or one that you plant in their head (a past tense), this can be effectively done by storytelling to give a virtual experience. Expectation is making them expect something good or bad will happen, doing this will mean the appropriate emotion will follow.
Volume Control: Underplaying an emotion or gradually increasing it so the audience can feel it along with you. Don’t use fancy language when emotional just simple speech. You guys will be familiar with this.
Unannounced Emotion: If you tell someone that their mood is going to be bad before telling what it is that will make them feel bad, it’s unlikely to bring that mood on, you can’t announce their emotion beforehand, you have to invoke it. An advanced warning just inoculates the receiver from receiving that motion. A great example is someone telling you they’ve got the funniest joke in the world to tell you, it just won’t be the funniest joke in the world. Show, Don’t Tell
Passive Voice: is really simple to do, it’s as simple as saying as redirecting from ‘Matt broke the condom’ to ‘The condom broke’. Direct’s the anger away from Matt, implying that it was not the fault of Matt’s pumping but it was the condom’s fault.
to be continued.. The Art of Persuasion