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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
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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- Spring '11