How to Speak so People Listen is filled with specific concepts and models. To make a valuable resource for readers, and to introduce non-readers to some of the core concepts of the book, I have created a dictionary. As a bonus, this dictionary also contains additional terms and ideas that are not contained in How to Speak so People Listen. It is in 16 parts and has around 100 entries. If you like dictionaries -�take a look too at The Yes/No Dictionary based on my earlier book, The Yes/No Book.

Part 2: Persuasion

Of course you want people to listen. But you also want your words to carry weight, to win arguments and to persuade people to act. The science and art of persuasion is packed with useful concepts for day-to-day and professional speakers.


AIDA (acronym); Acronym used by marketers to construct a marketing message with four components; in order: to get attention, to stimulate interest, to arouse�desire, and to prompt action.

Commonplace (noun); A widely shared understanding that provides a non-contentious basis for an argument.

Commonplace book (noun); A book in which speakers record commonplace items like quotations, extracts of poetry, biographical snippets, wordplay and references that they will find useful in constructing a speech or presentation. Nowadays, it is as likely to be a mobile device as a notebook. Some people have published theirs.

Empty the hopper (verb phrase); Metaphor for extracting all objections from an audience or listener, so that none remain and they therefore have no reason not to agree with the speaker.

Ethos (noun); Character. Aristotle identified three components to a persuasive argument: ethos, logos (qv) and pathos (qv).

Exordium (noun); The opening of a speech or presentation where the speaker establishes their ethos.

Hopper (noun); The hopper is a metaphor for the collection of objections an audience or listener may have to what the speaker is saying.

Logos (noun); Reason. Aristotle identified three components to a persuasive argument: ethos(qv), logos and pathos (qv).

Pathos (noun); Emotion. Aristotle identified three components to a persuasive argument: ethos (qv), logos (qv) and pathos.

SPACED (acronym); An acronym that acts as a memory aid for six common benefits people seek in ideas, products or services: security (or safety), performance, appearance, convenience, economy, and durability.

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