16 Effective Persuasive Language Techniques
Persuasive language is the language being used when convincing others for something. It can be seen and heard around you every day. You’ll see it in TV commercials, social media, magazines, billboards, and any other medium where advertisement campaigns are placed. While you may think persuasive language is only for the ones who communicate with the public to convince, it is actually helpful to learn it. At one point or another, you may have used it without noticing it, and you may also need to use it in the future. Persuasive language can be employed when you want others to believe your viewpoints and conclusions, accept your facts, and get someone to take a certain action. It can be done verbally, nonverbal, or even written. To make your message easier and more compelling, different techniques can be used. Your audience and your motive become the basis on which technique to use. Scroll down and read to know the commonly used techniques in persuasive language.
Your claim is your main point. It is the gist of your argument. When delivering a persuasive message, state your claim as clearly as possible. This will enable you to get your point across vividly and have your message be understood by your audience correctly. It also ensures that there is only one interpretation thus prevents leading to other interpretations.
“I’d like you to eat dark chocolates because it is a healthier option compared to other sweet foods.”
To emphasize your point, and reinforce an argument, you can do repetition. As you keep on repeating words or phrases, it creates a familiarity with your main point or message. This eventually stays in the mind of your audience thus making your message more memorable. To do this, choose the key points that you want to emphasize. Keep on repeating those words throughout your text or speech, however, remember to do it judiciously. If you overdo it, people will think the content of your message is redundant. Do it fluidly by repeating your main point in different ways. You can put it on your details, evidence, examples, and summary.
“You can easily choose from the alternatives that I offered you. Both of them are easy solutions.”
3. Colloquial Language
Using colloquial language is effective when persuading others because it makes your message clearer to them. Since it is common for people to use it, they will understand your point easily. Your audience can identify with you and feel as if you are on the same wavelength as them. Moreover, it sounds more friendly and can make your point appear more practical and realistic. To do this you can use slang when delivering your message.
“If you follow their demands then you’re a bunch of half-wits.”
“Did you travel abroad just to follow his instructions? What a joke!”
4. Jargon words
While we are often told not to use jargon or complex terminology as much as possible, using them in the persuasive language is effective. This is helpful if your audience is professional or intellectual. Using jargon words and formal language can make you sound knowledgeable thus making your point sound reasonable and rational.
“Share your advocacy to your clients to guide them to be aware of value-based purchasing.”
5. Emotive appeals
Engaging people’s feelings is another technique used to convince others. Most of the time, emotions become the motivation for why people do things. When people emotionally get in touch with you and are swayed by their emotions, they are more likely to agree with you. Through carefully choosing your words, you can evoke emotion from them. It may invite them to feel sympathy, disgust, guilt, anger, or excitement. To do this use emotive language or euphemism.
Learn more about emotive language by reading our article: How To Communicate Your Emotions Into Words
“In some places across the country, you can see people agonizing from poverty. The locals are living without food nor shelter to live in. That’s why giving something of what we have no matter how small or big it may be would mean a lot to them.”
6. Inclusive language
Inclusive language is a technique where you try to create an impression that you and your audience are on the same side and share the same viewpoint. This is effective in persuasive language because you position your audience to agree with you by showing that you belong in a team, campaign, or project that they can be part of. To employ inclusive language use ‘us’, ‘we’, and ‘our’.
“We are in this together.”
“By doing your part we can mitigate the effect of this virus crisis.”
7. Rhetorical question
Rhetorical questions are questions that are asked but not required to be answered. They are often used to get the audience’s attention, imply certain answers, emphasize a point, or guide audiences to draw certain conclusions. When a rhetorical question is asked, an obvious answer is already posed to a particular issue. You just ask to make the audience think about the same question and realize that your point is rational, and to disagree with it seems foolish.
“Who wouldn’t want to progress to live in comfort?”
“Should we allow this malpractice to continue?”
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration. It is often used to make a point or emphasize it. Overstating can be effective as your point can be viewed as greater than it actually is and more urgent and important. Using exaggeration can make two things, to communicate value, or make the situation seem worse. By describing an extreme version of events, it creates a dramatic impact. This provokes strong emotional responses from your audience which makes them more likely to accept your viewpoint. However, when using exaggerations, make sure that it is done appropriately and can be backed up by proof.
“They are selling the best ice cream in the country.”
“They can do it in one second.”
9. Anecdotal evidence
An anecdote is a short story involving real-life events. It is used to illustrate a point and simplify complex issues. It triggers imagination thus makes your point more vivid and relatable thus keeps your audience engaged. By providing real stories your persuasive message sounds more realistic, credible, and interesting. It is effective especially when backed up by facts.
To know more about storytelling read: How To Tell A Story In English
“Recently a colleague of mine experienced this dilemma first-hand”
“To give you an example, I’d like to share my experience on this issue.”
Bias is providing only a partial or one side of an issue to influence others. It is commonly used to highlight good reasoning to motives and ignore counter-arguments. To make this effective, state your claim and biases then explain why this one-sidedness helps and makes sense to your audience.
“Our product is environmentally-friendly thus assures you that it is safe, sustainable and value for money.”
“The newly released phone is the best in the market today.”
11. Expert opinion
Quoting expert’s opinions can help your persuasion message sound more credible. Not only does it add substance but also puts more weight on your argument. When people see that experts agree with you, people are influenced and believe that it would be rational to agree with you. Do this by including quotes that refer to experts who agree with your viewpoint. Make sure that the personalities you will quote are respectable and well-known to make your claim stronger and believable.
“Dr. Murphy’s extensive research on the virus proves that it can be transmitted via… “
12. Facts and statistical evidence
Add weight to your argument by incorporating statistics and facts into your persuasive message. This is effective especially to an analytical audience. Including facts and statistics in your message shows that you researched and investigated your claim. It makes you appear that you know what you are talking about. Your message will be seen as valid since facts and statistics are unquestionable and irrefutable. Make sure that when using statistics it is accurate and taken from reliable sources.
“According to the survey presented by ABC statistics, 90% are… ”
“A recent survey conducted by ABC Statistics found that…”
Generalization is a statement that suggests that what is true for some is true for the majority. It is often used to simplify an issue, and to prove that your claim is logical because the effect is experienced by many. This is effective if your audience stance is already on the same side as yours, but uncompelling to those that have doubts and proofs to disprove it. If you are going to employ it, use generalizations that tell commonly held beliefs that many accept or support.
“Teenagers today are more expressive, vocal, and bolder.”
“The locals are skillful and entrepreneurial.”
Comparison is a technique where you compare two things to present a point. It is another way to simplify complex issues. It can guide your audience to see the connection of things thus will help in making your audience agree with your point. Similes, metaphors, and analogies are often used to illustrate comparisons.
“The shade of the newly launched lipstick is like red roses.”
“Our fabric is as soft as cotton.”
A pun uses homophones, homonyms, or rhymes to play with words. The use of words that sound similar is intended to suggest a double meaning. This other meaning often represents a positive or negative connotation that influences the audience’s viewpoint or response on the issue. It is effective because its humor catches the attention and interest of your audience.
“She is returning the dress she purchased because she is experiencing post-traumatic dress syndrome.”
A cliché is an overused phrase. Although it is normally discouraged to use cliché, it can be effective when delivering your persuasive messages. Clichés allow you to communicate your viewpoints quickly. Since the expressions you are using are familiar and uncomplicated your audience can easily grasp and understand your point. This enables them to easily accept your idea.
“We are doing our best to resolve it but we are still uncertain about the outcome. Time can only tell.”
The techniques given above are easy and simple to follow. By employing them, you will deliver a message that is compelling and convincing. Keep in mind that your aim is not to be manipulative. While sharing your message, remember that you have to persuade your audience with something that makes sense and beneficial to them to create a win-win situation.
Learn the commonly used expression and how to incorporate persuasive language into your conversations. LingualBox offers courses that can help you improve communicating in English effectively. Avail your free trial class today.