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4 the strong the crafty the talkers each seek

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Unformatted text preview: sily, is not at all related to other phases of intelligence. Though it can be cultivated, good verbalism is an innate ability, and a most valuable one. The power to speak clearly so as to express what is on one's own mind is uncommon, as any one can testify who has watched people struggling to express themselves. "You know" is a very frequent phrase in the conversation of the average man, and he means that, "My words are inadequate, but you know what I mean." The delight in the good writer or speaker is that he relieves other people's dissatisfaction in their own inadequate expression by saying what they yearn to say for themselves, thus giving them a vicarious achievement. But the power of clear expression is not at all the power of persuasion, although it may be a part of it. One may clearly express himself and antagonize others. The persuader seeks to discover the obstacles to agreement with him in the minds of others and to remove or nullify them. He may seek to do this by a clear exposition of his wishes and desires, by showing how these will benefit the others (or at least not harm them), by meeting logically or otherwise the objections and demonstrating their futility. This he will attempt, if he is wise and practical, only in a limited group or among those who are keen-minded and open to reason. Even with them he will have to kindle and maintain their interest, and he must arouse a favorable emotional state. This latter is the principal goal in persuasion. Every good speaker or writer who seeks to reach the mass of people needs the effect of the great feelings--of patriotism, sympathy and humor--needs flattery, gross or CHAPTER XII. 105 subtle, makes people laugh or smile or feel kindly disposed to him before he attempts to get their cooperation. He must place himself on their level, be regarded as one of them; fellowship and the cooperative tendencies must be awakened before logic will have value. The persuader cuts his cloth to suit his case. He is a psychologist of the intuitive type. He may thunder and scold if he finds in his audience, whether numbering one or a million, a...
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