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Taylor Burton Mar 20, 2024 8:49:00 AM 5 min read

6 Powerful Persuasion Techniques

Many careers rely on the power of persuasion in order to be successful. Salespeople, marketers--and of course, lawyers. From reassuring a client you're the right fit to making your case in front of a judge or jury, persuasion is a useful skill for every lawyer to hone as it can impact your life and the lives of your clients.

Mastering the art of persuasion involves a heightened awareness of your actions. It also has a psychological component in which small words or actions can create big differences. Let's dive in to learn about the many powerful persuasion techniques that are at your disposal.

And remember, persuasion isn't just an in-person skill. You must maintain your credibility through writing and video as well. That's why you should attend our upcoming course "Persuading People on the Page and on the Screen" on Friday, April 5th. The Professional Education Group will share the psychology, science, and ethics of successful written communication and why good writing matters for lawyers. Don't miss this golden opportunity to grab your credits while learning all about this valuable topic!

...Did I persuade you?




Create a connection. The first step in doing so is to establish that ever-so-important eye contact. The next step is finding similarities that you can use to create rapport. Perhaps your aim is to make a client feel comfortable so take time to understand their plight and find ways you can relate to it. Or maybe you're hoping to humanize yourself in front of a jury. A respectful nod or a quick quip about today's weather is always a safe bet. If people like you or respect you, they will be more likely to listen.

When addressing an individual (or even an entire room), use the word "you" to tie your audience into your argument and make it feel more personal. Appeal to your audience's empathy.

You can create a bond by "throwing rocks" at a common enemy and assuring your audience that you're on their side. You can also show support for their beliefs or acknowledge and assuage their fears. Of course, it's best not to dive right into these tactics without taking the time to understand who you are speaking to and what matters to them.


Establish authority. While you want to appear down-to-earth and relatable, you must also convince others that you are the expert on your subject. Approach every matter with an air of confidence. Show them through your words and actions that you are trustworthy and reliable.

If you have a website or social media platform, this is a great place to establish authority in order to attract clients. Utilize this space for five-star reviews from past clients, your impressive educational background, or showcase your extensive knowledge in your field.


Unsmiling judge with american flag behind him in the court room


Speak to their emotions. It's hard for most people to separate their emotions from logic. This is not to say you should take advantage and use manipulation tactics to win people over. It means you should frame your argument in a way that will appeal to their emotions. Always be honest and professional, because that goes a long way in aiding your cause.

As you appeal to the emotions of others, keep yours cool and controlled no matter the situation. Showing respect for your peers in court, even the most obstinate of witnesses, can win you the respect of the judge and jury. Stay away from cruel intimidation tactics. Aim to generate a positive emotional response rather than a negative one.


Master your rhetoric. You've got to be an awesome orator who speaks to the hearts and minds of your listeners. Your narrative should be compelling yet tight, containing all of the facts without straying too far off course. You must strengthen your arguments with evidence, examples, and analogies when possible. 

Rhetoric includes active listening as well as speaking. Listen carefully to the opposing counsel and be ready to highlight inconsistencies in a clear manner. Listen to the witnesses with patience and empathy. And of course, listen to your client's thoughts and concerns. Being a great listener is an underrated skill in our world since much emphasis is often placed on being a great speaker. Do not discount the power of listening!




The importance of body language. There are subtle, unspoken ways of persuading people too. Your eye contact, posture, expression, and tone of voice can leave an impression before you even start to attempt the techniques listed above. You must emanate an aura of confidence and likability. Projecting confidence will tell others that you are sure of yourself, and they can be sure of you, too. Do so by carrying yourself in an upright yet relaxed posture. Avoid slouching. If you tend to gesticulate a great deal, move fluidly and purposefully rather than in a wild, aggressive manner.

When someone else is speaking, turn towards them and avoid crossing your arms, signaling that you are open to what they have to say. Give them your full attention and nod to show interest. All of these little actions can work together to build stronger rapport.


Speak slowly and with purpose. Do you have a tendency to rush through your statements? Take a deep breath and slow down! Speaking too quickly gives the impression of great anxiety, as if you feel what you have to say is of little value--you simply wish to get through it and get out of the way. Even if that's not the case, speaking slowly and clearly unconsciously tells your audience that what you have to say is of great importance.

Don't be afraid to embrace long pauses in order to really let the information sink in. It communicates confidence and demonstrates your control of the room. As always, confidence is key!


Successful businessman looking through keyhole-1


These techniques may come easily to some, while others have to take time and develop them. Either way, honing your persuasion skills is absolutely worth it, both for the benefits it can have on your career, and for the positive outcomes it can create for your client.