Once you graduate from college and start working, your ability to communicate efficiently and effectively will be a key factor for career advancement. No matter what your occupation is, at some point, or, on a daily basis, you are going to write messages, either to your boss, a customer, or a colleague, where you will try to convince them to take an action. Therefore, you have to be able to persuade the reader that your idea, product, or skill is the best solution available and they should adopt it.
Before you start writing any type of a message, make sure you have analyzed the situation carefully and defined your target audience. Then, you should consider a few factors such as the message objective, the demographics and the motivation of the audience.
Ask yourself, “what is my purpose with this communication?” The lack of a clearly defined objective of the message can easily sway the reader away. The defined objective must be realistic, and outline what should be accomplished, as well as the necessary steps to fulfill it. Before asking your audience to make a decision, ensure that you have built sufficient interest, and have narrowed the scope of the message over the main objective. For example, a message such as “our TV has the biggest high-resolution screen, and wireless networking for instant streaming of internet movies” effectively communicates the intended objective. Even though the message emphasizes the features of the TV to build interest and grab the audience’s attention, the main focus remains on the TV.
Figure out what you have in common with the audience and use a common language. Always try to avoid technical jargon that can be deciphered only by members of the same professional field as the speaker. If you are working in the IT department, for example, you have to make sure the accounting folks understand what you are talking about. For instance, instead of writing a message such as “according to the alpha geek, our department cannot dehire more people”, your communication will be much more effective and clear if you say, “according to the Head of the IT department we cannot fire more people. ”
Organize your message so that it is easily readable. Make sure you grab the reader’s attention and create interest from the beginning by asking them a question, using a quote, a story, or by giving a definition. Build a desire by explaining the benefits of your product or service. Here you can find how to use attention grabbers. You cannot convince anyone to take an action if you are unable to persuade them to read the entire message.
To achieve your goals you have to convince your audience that you are sitting on the same side of the table. Make sure you maintain a positive language. Try to answer any foreseeable questions. Since you are requesting some time, money, or other resources from the target audience, verify that all the information in your message is gathered from credible sources that support your claims. Use a quotation from an expert recognized by the audience to advance your ideas. If possible, include testimonials from current users of your product or service.
Finally, persuade the audience to take an action by setting a deadline, if applicable. Here you can use time-bound promotions like discounts or free upgrades. Make sure you give enough time for action; otherwise deadlines could have negative effects.
Remember that a well-written persuasive message can open a lot of doors in today’s business world. Therefore, ensure that you have carefully planned, organized and delivered your ideas to increase your chances for success.
Georgi Trifonov – International student at USF.