Persuasive.11.08.08
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Persuasive.11.08.08

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persuasive development writing for fundraising staff

persuasive development writing for fundraising staff

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  • Art=the art of crafting your message/writing techniques Science=social science and psychology behind persuasion, human nature Beyond the Need=helping you forget about what you need and focus on what your readers/donors want What is persuasive writing?
  • For or Against? An argument to change someone’s opinion. Beat them over the head until they agree with you. I’m going to tell you why this isn’t the best approach.
  • Important to note: Actions & Emotions. What do you want people to do, feel or think?
  • In development, need is…? We get so caught up in our great causes our need, that we overlook the donor’s self-interest. What’s in it for them? What do they want? We just elected a new president. I need your vote. Why? What’s in it for me? Suppose he said: Because I want to be president. Most of us know what we want…what does the reader want? How do we find out?
  • How do we figure out what the reader wants and how to address it. Systematic (work mode) step by step, appeals to logic and reason. Heuristic (recreational reading) responding to things we’ve experienced, emotional and social cues. Reading a magazine, a letter, a brochure, thumbing through a donor report. What mode of though do you use when opening your mail? Annual Fund appeal? Opening an email? Checking text messages? So before you write a word ,first determine what mode your reader is going to be in.
  • Finds out where they are on this chart. How do you know what people want to hear? You look at past behavior, perceptions, allegiances, expectations. Have they given before? How do they feel about your school? Who within your institution are they loyal to? What are their interests? What do they expect from you?
  • Now that you’ve determined what the reader wants and what mode they’re in, you can begin making your case. If reader is in systematic mode, you want to use logic. Logic sways thinkers in systematic mode. Aristotle, Greek philosophers Deductive reasoning: from general to specific, aka “top-down” All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Socrates is mortal. Be careful of that wasp: it might sting. is based on the logic that wasps as a class have stingers; therefore each individual wasp will have a stinger. What has your reader observed? What does your reader believe? Logic might not be enough to persuade. Inductive reasoning: from specific to general, aka “bottom up” reasoning from a specific observations and deriving a general rule. You’re in the park. You see a lot of elderly woman walking poodles. You could inductively reason that all poodles are owned exclusively by elderly women. All the crows I saw today are black. therefore, All crows are black. . All the people in this room work in development. Therefore, all people who work in development are attractive.
  • Logos = logic (smarts) Brain Ethos = character (ethics, trustworthiness, reputation) Gut Pathos = emotion (feelings) Heart Brain weighs the facts, gut tells us whether or not we can trust the persuader, our heart makes us want to take action.
  • Spock needed Captain Kirk.
  • Jay is was editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Yankee Magazine and an expert on rhetoric and persuasion. Emotion= humor, anger, guilt, belonging, fear, empathy, sympathy Based on CUES, appealing to basic human behavior See three articles on this site you can download: Logic Alone Won’t Win an Argument and Yes. No. And Maybe, and How to Teach Your Child to Argue
  • Readers in heuristic mode are swayed by cues. Cues are based on Emotion, Basic human behavior. Studies social scientists have shown we all respond to these cues, there are 7. Reciprocity example Ever get free address labels in the mail? How did you feel? Feel like you should give something in return? One study showed the success rate of appeal letter went from 18% to 35% with labels. Penelope Burk, Donor-Centered Fundraising, is not a fan. short-term gain “donors give to premium-based solicitations out of guilt…However, the feeling of obligation wears off and is replaced by resentment and/or concerns about the cost of these token-gift solicitations.” Reciprocal concessions You said no when I asked for $100 gift, how about $50 or $25. I’m making a concession, so should you.
  • People are sheep. You might not think you’re one of those people, but we all are, it’s human nature. We all want to belong and fit in. Positive: Show how we have shared values. Do you read those book reviews on Amazon? All those people can ’t be wrong! (you think). Dev example: Challenge grants. Class participation rates. Giving Clubs. “Everyone in you class gave, but you” Implies a moral and ethical obligation. Do what’s right. We are followers. The more other people do something the more likely we will. Example: Modeling study (1960s) One guy standing on a corner looking up, a few people stopped and looked up. Five guys standing on the same corner looking up quadrupled number of people who stopped and looked. The more people in the initial group, the more people stopped.
  • Experts say so Important people are doing this. Example: Heifer International Donor profiles, letters signed by respected faculty and alumni. Even better if it’s in their own words. Make sure your authority is credible and relevant. Sierra Club uses Robert Redford on return address label. That’s one piece of mail I’m opening. Not so credible: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Don’t laugh. How many pharmaceutical ads still use people dressed in white lab coats? Character Are you trustworthy and likable? Are you fair and objective? Are you perceived as such?
  • Liking Based on human desire to have common bonds.. Dev example: Use a student to ask other students for pledges. Have classmate sign appeal letter. Scarcity Social researcher Robert Cialdini tells of an experiment in which two groups of people were asked to rate choc-chip biscuits.Group A took theirs from a jar containing ten biscuits; Group B took from a jar with just two biscuits.The result? Group B rated the biscuits higher on almost every measure—even though the biscuits were identical. Scarcity of time: limited time offer” impose deadline Scarcity of amount: naming opportunities, only 50 bricks left on the donor walkway, get your name on one now Scarcity of information: exclusive, only a few select people are being invited to this event
  • Humans desire to be and appear consistent, not willy nilly. Psychological studies show that consistency is associated with integrity and rational behavior Researchers surveyed residents in a community, asking them to predict their response if they were asked to spend three hours collecting money for cancer research.Many said they would. But they didn ’t know that a few days later the Cancer Society would knock, asking them to help. The result was a 700 percent increase in volunteers compared to control groups.Why? Because those su rveyed made a personal commitment. Study: Two weeks before asking for contributions for disabled organization, in neighborhood, group circulated a petition. Those who signed, made public commitment. More likely to give money. Doubled gifts over neighborhood with no petition. How might this work for a college? Follow through: “You gave last year…” Send out a survey about college facilities. If they say on paper that they were strongly in favor of new student union, then maybe more receptive when you ask for $.. If they give a small amount, get them used to thinking of themselves as a donor, not a prospect. Foot in door: “You supported X, now you should also support Y because it’s he same thing.” consistent You supported our campaign for a new wing to the library…now we need to fill it with new books.
  • Grab attention with cues (heuristic mode). Now, move them from skimming mode to careful consideration of your case (systematic). Show relevance What’s in it for me? Why do I need to read closer? Why should I care? Requires that you understand your audience. Again, what do they want? How will you speak to it? Keep it simple Make it easy to follow. One thought, emotion or action. Keep in mind what mode they’re in when reading.
  • In a fight you want to win, when persuading, you want to win over your audience. Persuasion is about getting the other person to come around to your way of thinking or take action,by coming to his/her own conclusion. Consensus is great. Even better if the other person THINKS he’s won.
  • In order to persuade people, you have to understand them. Before you start writing, ask 3 questions: Match your approach to your audience. Multiple audiences might mean multiple case statements. To understand them, read what their reading. What magazines newspapers, books do your top prospects read?
  • Okay, enough science. Now for the ART. Quotes: Leading experts (authorities) Likable people, important people (social validation) testimonials Don’t confuse facts with truths. A truth is an idea believed by many people (democracy) but it cannot be proven. But don’t use too many numbers.
  • Ignore the math here!!! Numbers distract from point.
  • Show don’t tell…
  • Do you believe it? Does it persuade you?
  • Why is it stronger? More visual images (stronger than facts) human faces/identify Emotion Tells a story More powerful
  • Stories draw reader in, are compelling, allow people to persuade themselves, sympathize with you, and that’s what it’s really all about. In a way, we never convince anyone of anything we simply help others independently decide that we’re right. Learn to tell better stories, and you’ll be a more persuasive person. Admit up front what you’re about to do to gain trust and credibility. Puts reader in right frame of mind to listen more closely. “ At the end of this letter, I’m going to ask you for money. Here’s why:” Rhetorical questions get readers thinking, grab attention. Plants question in reader’s head, they involuntarily answer it. Heifer Intl. uses “What if we ended world hunger?” “ Suppose our college had to turn away 50 deserving students next year because of lack of scholarships funds?”
  • Richard Nordquist , About.com A very funny article about Homer Simpson and Rhetoric
  • Redefine and restate your argument throughout. M ake your point in several different ways: in a story, a quote from a respected person, with statistics, photography . “ Stay on message” George Bush “Stay the course?” Over and over and over… Yes, we can. Anticipate and address counter arguments, at least admit you are aware of them.If you tell only your side, you lose credibility. Goes to reinforce your character, objective, trustworthiness. Speak directly to your reader. You: Gets attention. Acknowledgse reader. Make it personal. Lets you show empathy/understanding. Gets them involved. What are figures of speech? Metaphor,oxymoron, personification, similie, hyperbole, analogy Powerful bec they evoke images. Universal Engage reader
  • Ask the 3 questions: What are their interests attitudes, beliefs. What mode are they in? Decide how to approach them. 2. One message. Too many of us sit down and describe the need. “We need your money to build a new student center.” That’s not persuasive. Why? What does that have to do with me? Why should I care? 3. Grab attention. Keep it simple and comprehensible. Repeat message. Use compelling evidence (stats, quotes, facts) Logos, pathos, ethos. Use powerful language metaphors, analogies, visuals. 4. Why should I care? What’s in it for me? Where am I in the story? We all want to see ourselves in the story. Do not write from the inside out. Don’t write case statements for your fundraising staff or for approval from internal big wigs.
  • Don’t inflate or sound righteous, preachy or pompous. Educational institutions often do this. Dig for concrete and specific details that appeal to the senses. Show don’t tell. If your mother doesn’t get it, go back. Don’t let the reader say “What now?”
  • If you ever question the importance of what we do…

Persuasive.11.08.08 Persuasive.11.08.08 Presentation Transcript

    • Beyond the Need—
    • The Art and Science of
    • Persuasive Writing
    • by Tracey Palmer
    • with insights by Jennifer Bowie
    • Write down 3-5 adjectives that would describe yourself to a complete stranger:
    • Friendly (out going, talkative)
    • Hard working (dedicated)
    • Sentimental
    • Pick a topic and write a poem or short piece using only nouns and verbs
    • Door opens, fans cheer, blades slice
    • Whistle blows, puck drops, sticks slash
    • Left wing cuts, center passes, tape holds
    • Stick slaps, shot soars, goalie gloves,
    • save? or score?
  •  
  •  
    • “ Writing is hard…”
      • ~Roger Angell in the forward to Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style”
    • “ The scariest moment is always just before you start …”
      • ~Stephen King in “On Writing”
    • grammar
      • rules and commonly misused words
      • a bit about verbs
        • sentence patterns (S-V-O/S-LV-PN or PA)*
      • variety
        • phrases
        • clauses
      • description
        • why I hate adverbs
    *Burch: “A Writer’s Grammar”
    • write in a way that comes naturally
      • read out loud
    • revise and rewrite
    • don’t explain too much
      • show, don’t tell
    • be clear
      • omit needless words ( adverbs !)
    Strunk and White: “The Elements of Style”
    • Stephen King’s “On Writing”
      • read a lot, write a lot
        • telepathy
      • “ … do not come lightly to the blank page .”
      • you’re not inventing the idea (project)
        • recognize the idea (project) and bring it to life
    • vocabulary
      • always expanding/never pretentious
        • “ use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful”*
    • grammar
      • active vs. passive
    • Style
      • clarity and brevity
    • your voice
      • pace, repetition, parallelism
    King: “On Writing”
    • narration
      • move from point A to point B
    • description
      • create sensory reality
      • variety
    • dialogue
      • bring characters to life
    King: “On Writing”
    • get the first draft done quickly
    • write with the door closed… rewrite with the door open
    • formula for success: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%
      • leave out the boring parts
    King: “On Writing”
      • “ Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart…
      • kill your darlings .”
    • 1 Introduction: Thesis
    • 2-4 Body: Supporting subtopics, using logic, evidence, stats
    • 5 Conclusion: Restate the main thesis
    • Narration
      • move from point A to point B
    • Description
      • create sensory reality
      • variety
    • Dialogue
      • bring characters to life
    • Writing that sets out to influence a reader’s thoughts, actions or emotions
    • What do you want?
    • What does the reader/donor want?
    • Persuasion bridges the gap
    • Two modes of thought
      • Systematic Critical Analysis Logic
      • Heuristic Skimming Cues
    • Participation 
    • Meet people where they’re coming from.
    • Build/reinforce relationships.
    Awareness  Support Loyalty  Comprehension 
    • Appeal to reason
      • Deductive
        • The ability to distill the pertinent facts and details of a situation from a wider body of evidence and generalizations.
      • Inductive
        • Analyzing a problem by working from specific facts and discovering general principles.
    • Logos
    • Ethos
    • Pathos
    • Spock
    • Homer
    • “ I fail to comprehend your indignation, sir. I have simply made the logical deduction that you are a liar.”
    • — Mr. Spock
    • “ To get your audience to do what you want,it has to desire the act. And desire requires emotion.”
    • — Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion
    • www.figarospeech.com
    • 1.Reciprocity
      • You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
      • Reciprocal concessions (related concept)
    • 2. Social validation
      • Everybody’s doing it
      • Modeling (related concept)
    • 3. Authority
      • You better believe it
    • 4. Character
      • How are you perceived?
    • 5. Liking
      • We tend to say yes to those we like
      • I don’t want to let you down
    • 6. Scarcity
      • Rare is better
    • 7. Consistency/Commitment
      • Follow through
      • Foot in the door
    • Moving the reader to careful consideration
      • Relevance
      • Comprehension
    • Don’t try to win. Win over.
      • Consensus
      • Concession
    • What is their level of knowledge and interest in your topic?
    • What are their attitudes?
    • What are their beliefs?
    • Evidence
      • Quotes
      • Facts v Truths
      • Statistics v Examples
    • “ More than 5,000 alumni gave $200 in fiscal year 2004-2005, helping us reach 48% of our 3.2 million goal, and we’re only 18 months into the four-year campaign.”
    • Evidence
      • Showing v Telling
    • President Bradley is wonderful role model for prospective students.
    • A recent New York Times article described President Bradley’s encounter with a student at an inner city high school in Los Angeles:
    • ‘ The 15-year-old sophomore had exchanged phone numbers with the president and vowed to keep in touch. They were two black women whose parents never finished high school, one dreaming of becoming what the other was. “I know I’m going to college. I want to make a change,” Aleshia said. “Maybe I can be president of a college one day. Maybe I can take her place.”’
    • Tell a story
    • Forewarn of intent to persuade
    • Rhetorical questions
    • Mother Simpson: [singing] How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?
    • Homer: Seven.
    • Lisa: No, dad, it's a rhetorical question .
    • Homer: OK, eight.
    • Lisa: Dad, do you even know what "rhetorical" means?
    • Homer: Do I know what “rhetorical” means?
    • http://grammar.about.com/b/a/000064.htm
    • Repetition
    • Present both sides
    • Hey, “you”
    • Figures of speech
    • “ Son, a woman is a lot like a . . . A refrigerator! They're about six feet tall, 300 pounds. They make ice, and . . . um . . . Oh, wait a minute. Actually, a woman is more like a beer.”
    • — Homer Simpson
    • Know your audience.
    • Know your case.
    • Tell it well.
    • Show relevance.
    • Write like you talk.
    • Get the name of the dog.
    • Ask your mother to read.
    • Don’t forget the Call to Action!
    • How donors would support the charities that communicated with them more effectively:
    • 93% would definitely or probably give again
    • 64% would give more
    • 74% would continue to give indefinitely
    • 70% would increase overall value of their giving
    • - Donor-Centered Research, Penelope Burk
    • Beyond the Need—
    • The Art and Science of
    • Persuasive Writing