Hauser describes persuasion as a communication tool whose goal is to turn an audience or reader into an agreement of one’s ideas through a rational way (p. 4). Persuasion makes the second party share values and dispositions of given actions. In this essay, I will aim at analyzing the various elements of persuasion in broad using of the examples. This is achievable through interconnection of various ideas shared by various renowned socialists. It is with deep understanding of such ideas that will make one use persuasion as a major aspect of communication.
It is prudent enough for one to identify that persuasion is not all about defeating the audience. Hauser puts it that persuasion is the art of winning the audience (p. 24). This makes the audience come to your terms through what they do not look at as a competition process. Hauser describes techniques used for an effective persuasion that includes use of the element of liking.
This element involves using a physically or morally attractive figure in persuading the audience. This element finds its practical use in various areas including politics and business. In marketing, a perfect example is the choice of a salesperson. Marketing companies will tend to pick physically attractive personnel in their marketing department in a bid to attract clients. This works perfectly since clients who see attractive salespersons on the counter will tend fall prey. Such clients believe that the product quality matches the attractiveness of the personnel.
Scarcity is a persuasion element commonly used in the marketing field. This involves employing the art of creating a form of scarcity in one’s mind when in the real sense, there does not exist scarcity of the commodity or service in question. Such scarcity, for example, is achievable when an audience thinks it should “hurry while stock still lasts.” Such a term brings to the attention of the buyer that the commodity may soon be unavailable, therefore, the urgency of purchasing it. In reality, there might be a surplus supply of the commodity in existence.
In nature, people are humane. Among the humane characters of humanity is the notion of returning a favor. This humane character is an advantage to persuasion. To capitalize on this, one has to provide free services either in readiness of persuasion or as future stock in case a need for persuasion will arise. A clear example is vendors who pass by their clients giving them free products of what they sell. When the vendors return minutes after to sell their products, it is natural that those who took the free samples become under obligation to buy the products. In this way, the vendor indirectly persuaded them to buy the products they did not plan to buy. This element of persuasion is reciprocity.
Hauser believes that authority is a deadly weapon of persuasion. It involves the use of respectable figures to persuade an audience. When in need of support from a certain audience that is hard to deal with, targeting and persuading a respectable figure to the audience will win them all. This is politically noticeable in the developing countries of Africa. In these countries, politics lies on tribal lines. Voters turn out in political blocks when voting for their favorite candidates. It is surprising to observe voters of a tribe voting for a single candidate, just because a respectable member of the community supports that candidate.
People tend to be in unison in terms of socialization. That explains the existence of fashion trends and the like. As a character, people do what they see others doing. This element, termed as social proof, applies in persuasion. One needs a disguised audience to deploy this. Taking fashion, as an example, a fashion designer who comes up with a new design might employ this method by letting few individuals use the outfit and ensure that they appear to the targeted audience. The audience will be willing to buy the outfit latter since they saw some people using the outfit. Otherwise, it would be practically hard to sell the outfit if it is still unseen.
Commitment and consistency is another element that if well used forms a critical approach to persuasion. This method is helpful if on awareness of the need to discontinue the initial insensitive that commits the targeted group of people. In order to use this method effectively, an insensitive accompanies a certain service or commodity. This persuades the targeted group on the efficiency and advantage of the service or commodity. Upon persuasion, the group will rely on the service with or without the initial insensitive.
There exist elements of persuasion that might be termed dubious. These are, however, effective and acceptable if well deployed. Among this the mastering of the element of conditioning is. Forcing an audience is undesired and regarded as aimed at defeating and not winning. However, conditioning is the art of ensuring that the audience makes its own decision but under restrained conditions that will ensure their decision falls on your way of reasoning. Apart from conditioning is the use of propaganda. Persuasive propaganda involves the use of truthful information, though in partiality, with an aim of persuading a large number of people. The idea of providing truthful information in partiality is to distort the full information with an aim of persuading the masses. Distorting the information using truthful ideas easily persuades the masses.
In conclusion, strategic planning is vital in the art of persuasion. One needs to analyze his goals and the obstacles that might hinder achieving of the said goals of persuasion. Upon the analysis of the obstacles, elimination of the obstacles follows as a move to ensure that persuasion succeeds. Among the tackled issues, audience interest and beliefs are included. Elimination of such obstacles of persuasion precedes solid presentation of facts and reasons that form the basis of your argument. Finally, the longevity of the persuasion persists by establishing a lasting relationship with the audience. Hauser borrows Burke’s idea since the latter puts that a potential persuasion is that based on sound relationship and networks (p. 8). On the application of all these, there is a guarantee on persuasion.