Bright Side

10 Tricks to Express Your Opinion Persuasively (These Hacks Work With Kids, Partners, and Coworkers)

As the penguin from Madagascar used to say, “I find reason tedious and boring. We’ll use force.” People often use this approach in real life, while it’s enough to just master the basics of the art of persuasion and learn to motivate others to do things that benefit you. There are general rules for building sentences that make other people accept your point of view.

We at Bright Side want people to communicate effectively, so we publish pieces of advice that will help you clearly express your thoughts and get what you want more often.

1. Get rid of generalizations.

Don’t use the words “never,” “every,” “all,” and “always” in your speech and be specific. Think about what exactly happened, who it concerns, and when it happened.

2. Specify the time and the date.

Say “on” and “at this time” instead of “about” and “or so.”

3. Say “and” instead of “but.”

“But” crosses out everything that was said before you used this word.

4. Ask open questions.

Don’t ask closed questions that can be replied to with “yes” and “no” answers. Ask questions about when and how something happened in order to get valuable information.

5. Show the person you’re talking with that you’re trying to solve the issue.

Ask a clarifying question and show the other person that you’re also trying to solve the problem.

6. Avoid typical negative constructions.

Turn negative phrases into positive ones. Express what you want clearly. It’ll help you focus your attention on the desired goal.

7. Start your request with “I’d be grateful...”

Could you please” and “I’m grateful for you” are very easy to say, and these phrases work miracles.

8. Use motivational refusal.

Using motivational refusal makes sense when you have to inform another person about something unpleasant or completely reject their assumption. It’s important to express your opinion and tell the truth at the same time. And with the help of motivational refusal, you can do it more politely.

9. Say “not now” instead of “no.”

“No” pushes people away. “No” sounds like something is completed and decided upon.

10. Engage other people with “you” and “we.”

If you always talk in the first person, you put yourself and your actions in first place. The use of “you” and “we” connects people and draws focus to the person you’re talking with too.

Which of these communication hacks will you take note of?

Illustrated by Alice Perkmini for Bright Side