The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Three little tricks to be more persuasive

I just started reading the fascinating book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. It’s an amazing tour of the mind and the two systems that drive the way we think. Expect plenty of posts on these topics this month.

The Nobel-prize-winning author Daniel Kahneman talks about the importance of cognitive ease. Things that are easy to read and easy to remember can be processed with cognitive ease. On the other hand, things like instructions in a poor font or faint colors or complicated language cause cognitive strain. When you’re in a state of cognitive ease, you’re in a good mood. You tend to believe what you hear, trust your intuitions and feel the current situation is familiar. Kahneman says when you feel strained you are vigilant, suspicious and less comfortable. You put in more effort and make fewer mistakes. You may be grouchy, too.

If you want to be persuasive, you want people in a state of cognitive ease. Here are three tips for that:

1. Make your message very easy to read.

2. Keep the language simple and clear.

3. Make it memorable. Catchy and even rhyming phrases are more likely to be taken as truth.

“Woes unite foes” is a better aphorism than “Woes unite enemies” for a reason.

Is your message causing ease or strain?

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Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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