Posted by: George E Burney | March 19, 2012

Public Speaking: Facts Or Feelings … To Persuade and Convince, Which Should You Use?

The answer: Both. Few people are like thinking machines. Few use their capacity for independent thought to the full, using only facts, thinking in a methodical, systematic fashion. So, what do most of us use in addition to facts? Feelings.

People are often convinced by a speaker’s apparent sincerity and earnestness. In other words, if the speaker clearly believes what he is saying, they will too. They “feel” that he is right. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, it’s simply how things are.

Since that is the case, if you have a proposition or idea you strongly believe in, and you’re presenting it to an audience, allow your conviction to show. Allow the audience to sense that you are completely convinced. Let your feelings show.

Also, appeal to their motives. What will cause this particular audience to want to accept your argument and act on it? After all, people generally think what they want to think. That fact provides the basis for the comment, “A man convinced against his will remains unconvinced still.” A speaker who overlooks this puts roadblocks in his own way.

What about facts? It’s been said that people use feelings to make decisions, and facts to justify those decisions. In any event, facts are needed to support and prove your assertions. When those who are strongly influenced by their feelings think about your discussion later, those facts will help them to remain convinced.

A factual, well-reasoned argument should also convince those in your audience who pride themselves on making decisions without the assistance of their feelings…those with analytical minds, who love to sift through and weigh facts before making decisions.

A presentation which appeals to both feelings and reason is very potent in convincing an audience. Therefore, use facts and feelings in making your presentations.

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking

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