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Abraham Lincoln’s Lesson of Persuasion

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Abraham Lincoln’s Lesson of Persuasion

Lincoln is known as a celebrated public speaker not solely because he realized the use of right words while speaking, but also, he had rooted knowledge of it, to be more precise he knew how it is going to affect his audience and urge them to take action. He was very well aware of his audience’s viewpoint. This is a learning from him that in a manner to turn out to be great speakers or communicators in life as well as in business, it is necessary for each one of us to be able to see beyond our very own thinking, desire and feelings and become proficient in the art of words from the viewpoint of the people.

Lincoln’s best-known speech is considered to be the Gettysburg Address. It is frequently read for its rhetoric, as well as for its legitimacy hence there are ornaments of psychological influences hiding in the speech throughout. Lincoln talked about four distinct psychological approaches devised to persuade as well as should be able to influence his audience:

  1. Tell a story. It is been understood with the help of various studies that stories are vigorously persuasive. Talking about Lincoln’s speeches, his iconic opening of the speeches is little additionally specific than the normal “once upon a time,” although regardless of his definite wording, these initial words give a sign to his audience that it is the beginning of a story or a narrative is approaching. It is being understood that a mere story would immensely enhance someone’s chances of inspiring the listeners or audience to action. In case a person is required to be additionally inspiring in the boardroom, the podium, or from the classroom, an elementary story would immensely enhance his/her chances to inspire the audience to action.
  2. Begin from a place of agreement. Even though Lincoln had to go back 85 years, but eventually he got something which his entire audience could have agreed on. Words like “liberty” and sentences like “all men are created equal” are being taken directly from past documents that Americans – then and now- respected like no other, the Declaration of Independence. These words certainly compel the audience to nod their head in agreement all the time.
  3. “Our.”  The art of addressing the audience, Lincoln was very much aware of that. He always used the first person, plural personal pronouns just like “we” as well as “our” all the time even if his speech is 2 minutes long. These certainly helped to create empathy as well as develop a sense of “togetherness”. Although, there are few of the astonishing researches which recommend that these kinds of pronouns to a greater extent helped to increase the statue of Lincoln in the mind or memory of his audiences.
  4. Articulate a compelling reason. Saying the word “because” when asking for something enhances the persuasive strength of the speaker between 60%-93%, what if the speaker does not have any actual reason, according to Ellen Langer, 1970s Harvard psychologist. Lincoln does not use the word “because” directly, the whole sentence could be summarised in the word “because”. Ultimately, it answers the question “why?”. People need reason or logic to do things, and Lincoln provided them with more than one.

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