Three steps to a persuasive argument

To persuade, you need to create a compelling argument.

You need to convince others to change their beliefs or actions. Here are three ways to build an argument which will do this.

Set strong foundations

Persuasive arguments are robustly constructed. You wouldn’t build a house without deep foundations. Nor should you build a case without depth of knowledge. To persuade effectively, you need to do your research. Talk to experts. Read academic articles. Find real examples related to your topic area. Depth of research creates depth of argument.

Map out your argument

A road map shows you which direction to take. So does a ‘case map.’ This is a diagram of how the pieces of your argument fit together. Here’s an example for a persuasive article on why managers should train their staff to deal with conflict.


Let facts speak for you

Beliefs don’t persuade, facts do. There are three ways to do this. First, list your source material. This proves that you’ve done your research. Second, use case studies and real life examples. Doing this demonstrates you have a working knowledge of your topic area. Third, present compelling numbers. Statistics and numbers reinforce your case. For example, instead of saying “conflict can have a huge impact on the success of a project” say “one in ten project managers has seen projects fail because of conflict.”