Very few people are going to accept your viewpoint just because you tell them that they should. This is especially true if there is someone with an opposing viewpoint that is also being shared.
If you wish to persuade people to accept your side of the story, you must make it easy for people to see your entire argument and supporting evidence. When it is your side, and you feel passionate about it, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone should already know what you know, then wondering why they do not agree with you when speak with them.
They do not know what you know, and they probably don’t care. There are people out there pushing all kinds of ridiculous ideas all the time. From conspiracy theories to stories of why their divorce was entirely their ex’s fault to all manner of absurdity. If you are trying to convince people of something they are not inclined to believe, such as the idea that a person they believe to be trustworthy is not, then it is incumbent upon you to persuade them , and not on the listener to believe it.
You must make this case the same way you’d make any other case, the same way you’d sell a product, the same way you’d present a case in court. Make an assertion, provide evidence, explain how the evidence supports the assertion, and create a conclusion.
You then need to make sure that you equip those that you convince with the tools to convince others. You’ll make very little progress if you have to persuade every single person in town yourself.
There should be some kind of document that lays out the whole case for someone who is interested enough and open minded enough to research. What medium you would use depends on the situation. If you are making your case in the open, such as campaigning for an elected office or political change, then a web site is an excellent platform.
If you need to be more subtle, then a PDF file that can be shared, or even a paper document, might be more prudent.
Regardless of the medium, the document must contain enough verifiable evidence to prove your case as well as a narrative that explains how it all fits together.
There will be people who are curious enough to go all the way down the rabbit hole, following every link, reading every document. If you can convince this small number of people, people who are trusted among their social circles as people who check their facts, then they can propagate your story. However, these researchers will grow frustrated if your claims are not substantiated or if you expect them to keep coming back to you to get more information and more leads.
Remember, until they are convinced that your story is valid, they are doing you a favor by researching it. No one has any obligation to research an assertion which is unproven. As far as they know, it could be a total waste of time.
If you have an assertion that you want to convince people of, you must make it easy for them. Put all the facts and assertions in one place where they can easily learn about them, review them, and verify them.
Michael Whitehouse has twenty years of experience in marketing and communications, including political and information campaigns and business marketing.
Are you looking to build a powerful infrastructure for your campaign or business which will allow your supporters to drive your message home for you? Contact me. I’d like to talk to you about how I can help you build your communications machine.