Inflame or Persuade?

#persuasion Jun 09, 2021

You say you want to write to persuade, so why do you write to inflame?

Nobody ever changed their mind in a discussion that began with, "Hey, stupid."

Have *you* ever changed your mind for someone who held you in contempt?

Yet this is how many otherwise smart people conduct their "persuasion."

To be persuasive, set aside the desire to feel superior.

Don't tear down what others cling to. Instead, make them want what you're offering.

Put your benefits on display. Tearing someone down just makes rejecting you more attractive.

If you want to persuade, cool your own passion. Channel it into respect.

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Be the Reader, Not the Writer


Keep in mind that the reader is always asking, "What's in it for me?"

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How to Not Dig a Hole

#editing #persuasion Jan 29, 2021

Close your speech, essay, or appeal with your request -- your call to action -- then be quiet. Here's the how and the why.

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Letters to the Editor: A Quick How-To

Getting published is easier than you think, but you have to follow a few simple rules... and here they are. 


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Anything But a Yes... Is a No


We tend to say "yes" immediately but beat around the bush when it's no -- but that only telegraphs the rejection to come. Here's how to stop doing that.

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Facts Alone Don't Win the Argument


Readers weigh not just the facts but also feelings – yet communicators often blast away with fact after fact… and nothing else. There’s a better way.


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To Hook the Audience, Talk Feelings More Than Facts -- Humanize!


Our initial interest is on the basis of emotion. We look for facts only later.

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Don't Lash Out On Social Media

#persuasion Aug 24, 2020


Nobody reacts well to hostility, so what’s the benefit of being hostile on social media?

There is none.

If you want to change minds on social media, think about what other people write that makes you stop listening to them… and stop writing that way, yourself.

It’s not easy, but it’s powerful.

How to engage constructively on social media – check out the video.

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Internal/External Comms- A Better Approach

#audience #persuasion Aug 05, 2020

Internal comms? External comms? There's no difference. 

Instead ask only this: what will it take to get this person to take the action I have in mind?

We are motivated most by the basics: what we like, love, hate, need, desire, fear – common needs of all humans, not the particulars of our day.

Keep your eyes on what makes us human, not what defines our jobs. That stuff is secondary.

Always has been. Always will be.

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Great Writers Start at the End


Most of us start writing when we get the topic.

That’s a work-wrecking mistake.

Start with what you want the reader or listener to do.

The topic isn’t the goal. It’s the road you’ll take to get there.

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