Persuasive Speaking – Admit a negative point

Persuasive speaking techniques can be very simple. And effortlessly make a business presentation more engaging.

Everybody has made mistakes, failed to achieve goals and been disappointed. So when you admit a negative, it creates a powerful connection with an audience.

It also provides instant credibility that sets up your persuasive point. Admitting a downside helps persuade people to believe your other claims.

Most presenters are so focused on pushing their positive points, they haven’t even given proper, objective thought to the downside. And we are bombarded with advertising and sales messages all day long, so people are are 100% positive about a point are not as believable.


Persuasive Speaking by editorial, not advertising

Talk about both the negative and the positive points. Then give your assessment on why the positive component outweighs the negative. This makes the audience feel there has been an objective assessment. That the whole project has been better thought through. Here are some examples:


For example, the statement:

“Let me tell you about my great success”

is not as powerful as:

“I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but one great success was…”


“This car is cheap and reliable”

is not as engaging as:

“This car may not be fast, but it sure is cheap and reliable.”


Persuasive Speaking in a business presentation:

  • ‘Our service is not very good at X, but if you want Y, we are the best you can get.’
  • ‘This project won’t do X but it will give us the answers to Y.’


You get the idea. Find a downside in your business presentation. Admit it; as a preface to the upside.

The human mind likes this negative-positive rhythm.


It’s a simple tool for persuasive communication in general.

And it will make your next business presentation more engaging.


If you’d like to develop persuasive speaking skills, consider:


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