Posts Tagged ‘persuasive techniques and examples’

Power of Persuasion: Look Younger by Moving

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Look Younger by Moving

Standing in church I look over at my 4 year-old boy to see his body in continual motion.  His head turns left, then right and then he looks at the ceiling.  He puts his hand on his head, he leans back then forward.  Maybe I should have been listening to the sermon, but I couldn’t help to start counting how many seconds before Nicky moves again.  I couldn’t get past two.  Then I look at my eight-year old.  He moves around, but not quite as much.  I could count to ten before his head turns and his body shifted then five seconds later he puts his hands on the pew in front of him.  I started looking at other people.  Right in front of me was a man and his wife, both around seventy years old.  One of them moved only once in the first ninety seconds.  The rest of that time they appeared frozen in place. 

This got me thinking.  Is there a correlation between movement and age, and if so could a person use movement to appear more youthful?

For the following two months, we observed over 300 people in public places in the following age categories: kids, teens, twenties, forties, and sixties.  A head-turn, look at a watch, posture change, gesture, etc. qualified as making a move.  I only analyzed people in listening situations or alone, because when people talk they are far more animated.  Here are the results measured in moves per minute (MPM):

The older people grow, the less they move and shift.  Morbid as it appears, it is a natural progression towards death.  How does movement affect how others perceive you?

Likability is one of the six pillars of persuasion.  When studying the most likable people, one common denominator is that they nod and make facial expressions as they react to other people talking to them.  An observation made in this study showed that the older people grow, the less they externally react to others.  This may have a negative impact on how they connect.  Dale Carnegie said it best, “Be interesting by being interested”.

What about appearing younger?  After analyzing the chart above, we decided to test whether movement makes people appear younger. We asked people to watch a twenty-five-year-old woman for a minute and then guess her age.  In some circumstances she would move only once during the minute; in others, she would move ten times.  Here are the results:

1   MPM:         average perceived age: 22 years old

10 MPM:         average perceived age: 19.5 years old

Next we tried the experiment with me (age 43).  Here are the results based on 48 respondents:

1 MPM:           average perceived age: 40.7 years old

10 MPM:         average perceived age: 38.4 years old

You look younger when you move.  Movement requires energy and energy is associated with youth.  Lethargy is associated with age and decline.

The point of this blog is to remind us of how loudly our body language speaks to others.  Chances are if you allow yourself to be more animated you will be perceived as more likeable and a bit younger.  And, if it works for you, you can thank Jake and Nicky for their bouncy behavior in Church.

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Power of Persuasion: It’s All About YOU!

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Kudos to you for realizing that the power of persuasion is a requisite for success whether you are in sales, service or management.

Persuasion vs. Manipulation

They both rely on the same fundamentals.  The cardinal difference is intent.  Persuasion is the art of getting the outcome you seek in the context of a win/win.  Manipulation connotes getting the outcome YOU want irrespective of whether your win comes at the detriment of the other party.

In your marketing material, your networking, your elevator pitch, your conversation with employees, use the words “you and your” with much more frequency and minimize the words “I and we”.

If you read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People,  he will teach you that a boil on a man’s neck is more important to him than a thousand earthquakes in Africa.  While not always true, it is often the case that people are naturally self-centered.

I used to teach high school.  Listen to some teen conversations and you’ll notice one will talk about herself until the other segues in “tell me about it, I . . .”  then continues to talk about himself.  It’s a funny ping-pong phenomenon, almost like two independent conversations linked with short transitional phrases such as “wow, that happened to me when. . .”



If you’ve ever networked, you know that many adults have not outgrown this mode of communication.  To be persuasive most of what you say should be from the perspective of your listener.  Asking questions is a great way to form a conversation around the other person.  Certainly share about yourself, but turn the conversation back to the other person.  When you are in a group with a “monopolizer” take the lead and ask the quiet person a question.  Everyone will be grateful to you!

Look at your marketing material and elevator pitch! Shift the focus from “we” to “you”.

Example:  “We’ve been in business for 25 years” is less persuasive than “25 years in business means that you can count on us”.

“We have 24hr support staff, and award winning service” is less persuasive than “You’ll appreciate the convenience of our 24 hr staff, and our service will always leave you smiling.”

“I’m a consultant who has experience integrating systems to support custom design” is less persuasive than, “We can integrate a turnkey solution for your custom design that will deliver the results you need”.  The first generates a “so what?” reaction, while the second has a better chance of generating a “how?” reaction; or perhaps a discerning prospect may retort in a skeptical tone:  “Oh really . . . ?”  The key is, you have caused engagement; now you have an opportunity to continue the persuasion process.

Much more to follow.  Your thoughts?

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