See you next time!

That's it for this lesson!

You should now be able to look at any persuasive situation, figure out what's going on, and perhaps get a sense of a good approach for the speaker. (More on that in the next lesson!)

We looked at five elements of persuasive context:

  • Speaker
  • Issue
  • Audience
  • Goal
  • Timing

Each element influences the others (especially the three 'givens').

Three types of goal

We talked about three types of goals:

  • Change what the audience thinks.
  • Change how the audience feels.
  • Change what the audience does.

We said each of these goals is arguably more difficult than the last because it requires more effort from the audience.

  • We talked briefly about how persuasive can be extractive or supportive for the benefit of the speaker or the benefit of the audience. We also mentioned that the question of who benefits can be a matter of interpretation.
  • Speaker & audience could be different species, in different time periods (like when you read a persuasive book or watch a show); they could even potentially be the same person talking to themselves!
  • These roles aren't rigidly fixed. In many situations, particularly collaborative relationships, the speaker and audience might change continually.
  • The speaker wants to change the status quo around an issue. The issue could be big or small, general or specific. It could have a long history or have only come up in the last few seconds.
  • A key question about the audience is how invested they are in maintaining the status quo!

Keep an eye out for persuasive contexts. You won't have to look hard; they're everywhere. (We're in one now!)

But certainly look for big ones in the media.

Question each element and see how much you understand about what's going on:

  • Who's the speaker?
  • Who's the audience?
  • What's the issue?
  • What's the goal?
  • Why now?

Based on that, do you think the speaker is being persuasive?

And will the audience be happy if they are persuaded?

Before we go, here's an example of cross-species extractive persuasion!

See you next time!