Nov 06, 2017

Scott Adams' persuasion tips

From Win Bigly:

  1. When you identify as part of a group, your opinions tend to be biased toward the group consensus.

  2. Humans are hard-wired to reciprocate favors. If you want someone's cooperation in the future, do something for that person today.

  3. Persuasion is effective even when the subject recognizes the technique. Everyone knows that stores list prices at $9.99 because $10.00 sounds like too much. It still works.

  4. The things that you think about the most will irrationally rise in importance in your mind.

  5. An intentional "error" in the details of your message will attract criticism. The attention will make your message rise in importance – at least in people's minds – simply because everyone is talking about it.

  6. If you are not a Master Persuader running for president, find the sweet spot between apologizing too much, which signals a lack of confidence, and never apologizing for anything, which makes you look like a sociopath.

  7. It is easy to fit completely different explanations to the observed facts. Don't trust any interpretation of reality that isn't able to predict.

  8. People are more influenced by the direction of things than the current state of things.

  9. Display confidence (either real or faked) to improve your persuasiveness. You have to believe yourself, or at least appear as if you do, in order to get anyone else to believe.

  10. Persuasion is strongest when the messenger is credible.

  11. Guess what people are thinking – at the very moment they think it – and call it out. If you are right, the subject bonds to you for being like-minded.

  12. If you want your audience to embrace your content, leave out any detail that is both unimportant and would give people a reason to think That's not me. Design into your content enough blank spaces so people can fill them with whatever makes them happiest.

  13. Use the High-Ground Maneuver to frame yourself as the wise adult in the room. It forces other people to join you or be framed as the small thinkers.

  14. When you attack a person's belief, the person under attack is more likely to harden his belief rather than to abandon it, even if your argument is airtight.

  15. Studies say humans more easily get addicted to unpredictable rewards than they do to predictable rewards.

  16. It is easier to persuade a person who believes you are persuasive. [basically the same as #10]

  17. People prefer certainty over uncertainty, even when the uncertainty is wrong.

  18. Visual persuasion is more powerful than nonvisual persuasion, all else being equal. And the difference is large.

  19. In the context of persuasion, you don't need a physical picture if you can make someone imagine the scene.

  20. People are more persuaded by contrasts than by facts or reason. Choose your contrasts wisely.

  21. When you associate any two ideas or images, people's emotional reaction to them will start to merge over time.

  22. People automatically get used to minor annoyances over time.

  23. What you say is important, but it is never as important as what people think you are thinking.

  24. If you can frame your preferred strategy as two ways to win and no way to lose, almost no one will disagree with your suggested path because it is a natural High-Ground Maneuver.

  25. If you are selling, ask your potential customer to buy. Direct requests are persuasive.

  26. Repetition is persuasive. Also, repetition is persuasive. And have I mentioned that repetition is persuasive?

  27. Match the speaking style of your audience. Once they see you as one of their own, it will be easier to lead them.

  28. Simple explanations look more credible than complicated ones.

  29. Simplicity makes your ideas easy to understand, easy to remember, and easy to spread. You can be persuasive only when you are also memorable.

  30. "Strategic ambiguity" refers to a deliberate choice of words that allows people to read into your message whatever they want to hear. Or to put it another way, the message intentionally leaves out any part that would be objectionable to anyone. People fill in the gaps with their imagination, and their imagination can be more persuasive than anything you say.

  31. If you are trying to get a decision from someone who is on the fence but leaning in your direction, try a "fake because" to give them "permission" to agree with you. The reason you offer doesn't need to be a good one. Any "fake because" will work because people are looking for a reason to move your way.

[rereads: 1, edits: 0]