Power of Persuasion – tips for persuasive writing

Being able to write persuasively is one powerful skill to have. Whether you’re writing an essay, a proposal, an article, a review, an advert, or even a letter to your MP, being able to convince your audience to side with your point of view is essential to success.

Here we explain some of the most effective ways of being persuasive in your writing, whatever you need it for.

The P.E.E. Technique

You might recognise this famous persuasive technique from your essay writing days if you took English GCSE’s. The P.E.E. Technique is an extremely effective way of structuring a persuasive paragraph.

Point – state your point
Evidence – back it up with evidence
Explain – explain it

It’s simple, yet effective.

The Power of 3

This is a writing rule that can also be used to make your writing more effective, persuasive and memorable. Have you ever noticed how many things come in threes?

The three little pigs,
The three musketeers,
The three kings,
Rock, paper, scissors,
Stop, look and listen,
Three cheers,
Me, myself and I…

Some of our most famous advertising slogans also come in threes:

Just do it
Every little helps
I’m lovin’ it
Diamonds are forever
Taste the difference
Faster, higher, stronger
Snap, crackle, pop…

What’s more, most stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Some of the most famous film franchises come in trilogies. Not to mention BLT sandwiches, location, location, location, knife, fork, spoon… even the P.E.E. technique above.  We could go on.

But how can you harness this power in your own writing? There are a few easy ways.

1. Use three adjectives in a row. Just look at the first line of this paragraph. We used three adjectives in a row to emphasise our point.
2. Organise your argument into three main sections.
3. Use the P.E.E. technique.

The ‘W’ Formula

This technique is used by professional copywriters to get their point across and inspire readers to take action, whether it be supporting a charitable cause, buying something or anything else.

1. What I’ve got for you – in a single, simple sentence outline the product you’re selling.
2. What can it do for you – outline the main benefits of that product. Use the power of and give three key benefits, features, or reasons they should do what you want them to do.
3. Who are you? Let your audience know who you are, why the should trust you or why what you’re saying is worth hearing/reading.
4. What they should do next – let them know exactly what action you want them to take, and be specific. Your call-to-action shouldn’t tell them what you want them to do in the future, such as ‘consider popping into our store this weekend,’ but something immediate like ‘go to our online store right now and use this 10% discount that expires in 5 hours.’

Now you have this collection of tools at your disposal, you can use them whenever you need to bring people round to your point of view.