Search This Blog

Persuasion Tactics Part 3

Over the past few weeks, we have defined the persuasion plot hole and added tools  and tips to repair it. This week, we add the final implements to our persuasion tool kit.

1. Question Their Authority: Jane may have an opinion but may not be an authority on the subject. Dick may not be either, but all he has to do is instill reasonable doubt that she is accurate. He can state facts or invention to support his argument. Jane will be forced to defend her authority rather than her idea. She does not have the time or opportunity to investigate his counterclaims or sources.

2. Shoot the Messenger: Dick can publically discount everything Jane says simply because it is Jane saying it. He does not have to disprove what she is saying. All he has to do is cast sufficient doubt on her veracity. He can question her motives. He can insist that she is only saying what she says to further her own self-interest and it is not in the best interest of the situation. He can belittle her in front of other people.

3. The Spider Web: Jane can draw Dick in slowly. Get him to agree to little things. Then hit him with her real request. If he has agreed that he likes popcorn and soda and time spent together, he will have a difficult time wriggling out of taking her to a chick flick.

4. Their Words Against Them: Dick can take something Jane says out of context and run with it. She will waste time trying to get him back to the original topic or become completely derailed and flustered defending his detour. He can take a key word and catapult the conversation onto something else entirely, perhaps the item he wanted to talk about all along.

5. Tick Them Off: This is particularly effective as a counter measure. If Jane is grilling Dick about his alibi or strange behavior, he can start an argument about something else. He can insult her or goad her into losing her temper. Rationality will fly out the window.

6. Timing is Everything: When persuading Jane, Dick should keep in mind the time, place and her mindset. She may be more willing to agree to something after a romantic weekend than after a fight. If he asks her over a candlelit dinner, she might be more receptive than she is while cleaning baby spit off her t-shirt.

7. Turn the Table: The best defense is a good offense. If Dick feels he is being targeted, he can turn the argument around on his opponent. He can latch onto inconsistencies and chip away at the logic. If Jane asks, "Why do you think we're having this problem?" He can turn around and ask, "Why do you think we're having this problem?" Answering a question with a question is a good deflection technique. This is especially useful if Dick has backed into a corner and cannot defend his choice or behavior with logic. He forces Jane to come up with viable justifications for him. He can also use Jane's arguments against her. Liars often use this tactic. The questioner often supplies a valid answer for them.

8. We're A Team: When asking Dick to do something he does not want to do, Jane emphasizes that they will be doing it together. She isn't asking him for a favor. She is asking him to spend time with her and help her achieve something. He will in fact curry her favor by agreeing and will receive a reward for it. He is likely to give in.

9. Win-Lose: Rather than harp and complain, Jane can reinforce with Dick what he will be missing out on if he doesn't comply. She explains how complying means he wins and not complying means he loses. This is time to sweeten the kitty, not bludgeon the other person into submission.

10. Win-win: The best way to achieve success is to offer Dick a win-win scenario. The action benefits both Dick and Jane equally and no harm is done in the process. This method eliminates rational objections. It may overcome irrational objections.

For these and other fiction tools, you can pick up a copy of the Story Building Blocks: Crafting Believable Conflict in paperback or E-book.

No comments:

Post a Comment