Persuasive Business Writing Techniques

There are times when you want a business proposal to persuade your audience to take action, not just absorb information. Use the following techniques to make your documents more persuasive.

  1. Repetition: Repetition is a technique where the writer restates the point in multiple ways. Sometimes even just a single word or phrase is repeated as is in order to get the attention of the reader.
  2. Rhetorical Questioning: A rhetorical question is one that does not require an answer. It is asked merely for effect, such as "How long will it be before our customers go somewhere else?".
  3. Statistics: Statistics can be very powerful elements in a proposal. They can also be quite distracting. The key to using statistics is to balance the information, present it in an understandable way, and not overload your reader with a lot of numbers, facts, and relationships between those numbers.
  4. Rebuttal to Arguments: This is another technique that will make your reader pay attention. If you anticipate the arguments against your proposal before you present it, you can include your rebuttal in the initial proposal. State the argument and follow up with your suggestions for resolving that issue. Your reader will appreciate you taking the time to consider these arguments before they even arise.
  5. Appeal to the Audience: Persuade your audience by appealing to them on an emotional level. For example, if you run an art gallery and you want to upgrade the security system, but you know there will be opposition to the proposal because of the cost, an emotional appeal might be to compare the cost of the upgrade to the loss that would be incurred if one of the priceless masterpieces in the gallery were stolen.
Author: Margaux Judge

Margaux Judge has worked as an e-learning editor and instructional designer for over ten years, writing and editing a wide variety of courses, from technical topics to soft skills. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in Television Writing from Boston University.

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