12 most persuasive words

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.

If you have an MVDP season pass, let us know you’re coming by e-mailing info@mvdp-or.org. If you are a guest, please register in advance at www.mvdp-or.org.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

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