How To Speak Persuasively
Stephen Smith and David Shaffer, for example, tried to convince one group of student participants the legal age for drinking should be kept at 21 (Smith & Shaffer, 1991). Another group they tried to persuade the age should not be 21 (this was shortly after the legal age for drinking in the US was raised to 21).
Fast, slow and intermediate speech rates were employed and this time a telling twist emerged. When the message was counter-attitudinal (you’ll be amazed to hear that college students don’t like the idea they can’t legally drink in bars), fast talking was more persuasive than the intermediate, with slow talking being the least persuasive of all.
Exactly the reverse effect was seen when the message was pro-attitudinal. When preaching to the converted, it was slow speech that emerged as the most persuasive.
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