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How to Convince Anyone of Anything, Explained in Only 50 Words

Jessica Stillman

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Want to be more persuasive? Business school professors suggest you watch your verb tenses. Psychologists advise presenting your desired response as a choice. Warren Buffet role-models self-deprecating humor as a persuasion tactic. Steve Jobs was a master of flattery. Even the founding fathers had advice on how to get others to do what you want.

My point is there is a ton of persuasion advice out there, much of it sensible. Which is both helpful and overwhelming. With so many tips and tricks available, it can be easy to lose sight of the fundamentals of how to best influence other human beings.

Which is why a recent Substack from Julie Zhou is so useful. In a recent edition of her newsletter, the former Facebook executive turned founder rounded up the greatest lessons in persuasion she picked up from across her impressive career. All of them are useful, but perhaps the most impactful of the bunch is her short reminder that the basics of persuasion are so simple they can be summed up in just 50 words.

Bells and whistles won’t help much if you don’t nail the fundamentals.

Advice on how to end emails or package asks together will improve your persuasion skills at the margins and are definitely worth implementing. But no…

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Jessica Stillman

Top Inc.com columnist/ Editor/ Ghostwriter. Book lover. Travel fiend. Nap enthusiast. https://jessicastillman.com/