Whether you’re talking one-on-one with a donor or speaking to a crowd about your organizations or one of its programs, there is much to be gained by employing persuasive words, and Guila Muir has identified a dozen great ones.
In an article she wrote (The 12 most persuasive words in the English language), Guila said, “Every effective presentation persuades the listener. Certain words persuade people more effectively than others.”
Those words (quoting Guila) are:
1. You: Personalize your speech so that your listeners feel you are talking directly to them. (Example:Ask, “What does this mean to you?” and stick in a benefit.)
2. Discovery: What an exciting and enthusiastic feeling from childhood this conjures!
3. Easy: Your audience wants more ease in their busy lives. What can you offer?
4. Guarantee: Remove the feeling of risk. Make people feel safe. (Which brings us to:)
5. Safety: This word conjures comfort and eases people’s fears.
6. Save: Everyone loves to save money and time. Make the most of this word!
7. Health: Your listeners gravitate toward self-preservation. See if you can make a connection to your topic.
8. Love: Don’t overuse it. It’s one of the most powerful words when you know what your audience loves the most (Family? Security? Safety? Income?)
9. New: Freshness, innovation, change…people like new “stuff.”
10. Proven: The opposite of “new,” this word ensures us that we are not taking risks. Be sure to back this one with data.
11. Results: What people will get, how they will benefit. Very powerful!
12. Free: Don’t forget the different definitions of this word: not only free of charge, but also freedom of movement and choice. This word gives the hope of liberation and expansion.
“Try using one or two in your next presentation, and watch for changes in how people react to your message,” she wrote.
For more about Guila Muir and her firm’s communications training programs, visit her Web site.
For more about ways to communicate what your organization does and how donors can discover easy ways to love what you do, don’t miss Jim Gochenour’s presentation on Marketing: A critical tool for development at MVDP’s April 26 meeting. We start at 3 p.m. at the Central Willamette Community Credit Union, 7101 SW Supra Drive, Albany.
Photo courtesy of Microsoft