What would it take to change your audience's mind?
Whenever you ask anyone: “How should we persuade others?”, you’ll find them rushing to share techniques as if that’s an easy task that only requires knowing some new theories.
That’s why I changed the question, I asked in one of my posts on social media: “What would it take to make you change your mind?”. Most of the answers ,that were sent to me either as a reply to my stories or posts on the different social media platforms or in messages, were saying that’s nearly impossible that we change our mind.
Now, let’s put these points together, when we imagine ourselves in the situation, our whole mindset changes and it makes us realize that in order to persuade somebody it isn’t easy and it takes more than knowing theories or showing confidence.
So the question now is, What would it take to change your audience’s minds?
1) Understand and respect their point of view
Most of us have settled views about various topics, views that were shaped by our education, family, experiences or our community, and these views were endorsed and held for years. That’s why it’s vital to deal with your audience’s point of views in a serious and respectful manner, and not only that, you also need to understand that those views are actually valid.
That’s why your first step should always be trying to see things from their perspective and to dig deep till you figure out where’s that view is coming from.
Because simply most of us, are pretty set in our views. There is a certain comfort zone to think we are doing the right things and when confronted with evidence to the contrary, we tend to ignore them or enter the defense mood.
People really hate admitting they're wrong and the more you demand that someone admit they were wrong or foolish, the deeper they'll push themselves into their current opinion. That’s why it’s also a smart decision to give your audience excuses for owning such point of views as for example saying that their view was the right one given what they knew, but now that the current facts have changed, so should their minds.
2) Establish your credibility
It’s extremely hard to give our ears to somebody who talks about something he/she has no experience in neither can be a good representation for what they talk about.
Instead of attacking your audience that they weren’t convinced, take a step back and ask yourself whether you’re actually the right person to provide that idea or point of view, because simply who you are and what you do during your presentation could be a deal breaker and stand in the way of the persuasion process.
It’s also crucial to mention some of your credentials indirectly and how you’re personally connected to the topic. Demonstrate that you are familiar with the conversations that surround your topic and the latest updates.
3) Bring up new information
In order for your audience to start listening they have to have a reason, that’s why it’s important to research what your audience already know and make sure to find the new information that will make them reconsider where they stand today, not to mention that when expressing the situation, you should be showing how these new information can make them gain more or suffer less.
4) Use facts wisely
It’s inevitable that facts are great in persuasion, but people aren’t just going to hear your facts or one statistic and suddenly flip sides. This is because simply you don’t convince people, people convince themselves.
So instead of showering them with facts, make them lead their way into doubt of what they believe in. Encourage your audience to speak up about their beliefs and generate questions out of it, their answers could show them that they don’t see the full picture or don’t have enough information to possess that view.
Our tendency to be persuaded is maximized when we feel that we reached the results on our own.
5) The risk-free effect
As we discussed earlier in my article that getting people outside of their comfort zone, AKA their beliefs, isn’t easy and it definitely seem risky for them.
That’s why the more likely you’re able to present what we call risk-free options, the more likely they will tend to try your recommendations.
Risk-free options are like free trials, small investments or even demos. Similar choices will make the audience more likely to take one step forward and that’s usually all what it takes to follow your lead for a longer journey.