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Jeudi, 22 Décembre 2011 12:30

Learn the Science and Art of Persuasion (Hint: No Slow Talking)

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  • 12:30 pm  | 
  • Wired December 2011

There’s a science and an art to persuasion. Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed the speech of 100 interviewers on 1,380 calls as they tried to persuade people to participate in a survey. Here’s what they learned.

  • Talk Fast

    Researchers found that optimal persuasive speed is a little faster than normal—about 3.5 words per second. Hyperspeed can sound shady, and slow-talkers come across as dull or didactic.
  • Take a Breath

    Interviewers who spoke perfectly were the least likely to hook a listener. It’s best to pause about every 20 seconds.
  • Mind Your Pitch

    Get enthused but be wary of being too boisterous. Men who varied their pitch a lot were less persuasive than those who didn’t. But women who varied their pitch were more successful than those who didn’t. As with men, a lower pitch also helped slightly, which was a surprise, because research has shown that higher female voices are viewed as more attractive.


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