Todays post is all about convincing an audience, whether you want to persuade or inform your audience, this is an extremely useful skill. In our latest project we worked on we looked into how we could persuade and audience of our choice into agreeing with us on any point we wanted to make. There were some key techniques that definitively made this project difficult but they were defiantly worth it because I know they will come in handy in the future.
The first major step for was to figure out who I was as a writer. This would tie into my final product as I would be writing on a topic which I felt strong about, and finding out what I like to write about is a key part of it. We did a few activity but overall I found that writing is not my strong suit, which is something I knew, but it just meant I had to find something I really wanted to express my opinions.
The next key step was to figure out who our audience was based on the topic we wanted to write about. I thought this was a tough step in our project because it required us to think ahead to our final product and envision the person we wanted to persuade. We learned that a lot of persuasion is successful only if you know what your audience will response to, for example they might listen to facts and numbers rather than personal experiences, and knowing that can help you chances of succeeding.
Knowing what you wanted to write about and what your argument was really the most important largest part of the project, so I had to chose and refine a topic. The topic I knew I could write well about was field hockey, however I know that in the past I have already wrote quite a bit on it, so I thought it would be better to extend further and find a related topic. In the end I decided to write about funding, and how smaller communities of sport teams who are able to compete a high international level are being looked over just because they are unknown. This is an issue that I can relate to and relates to my sport, but I can also extend this to other sports as well.
The audience I wanted to reach with my persuasive text was the athletes who compete on small teams, and the reason is because they should be the ones to know what opportunities they deserve. In addition to that I found that an issue in funding is popularity, and I key part in that is the media, whether it be new or even social media, it all factors into the funding. I thought that persuading the athletes themselves would be key because maybe it would show them how promotion their sport could help them in the long run. I know this works in others counties where certain sports are more popular than others, and the athletes are more vocal about their sports.
As mentioned before I had to get and idea of what persuasion techniques to use in order to present a convincing argument, so I decided to interview one of my teammates and ask him some questions that would give me an idea of what they as an athlete think. A key part to this interview was not to let him onto what my actual topic was, instead I should try and understand his point of view and ask questions which related to my topic and get his general opinion.
Then interview went really well, but I got some unexpected answers which did not really help my case. I asked him him what he thought about funding and what if it could take away some aspects of stress such as work, but he told me about how his mood during training is usually dictated based on how work or school went earlier in the day. He explained how he really enjoyed what he is leaning and his work, which leads him to train better. This eliminated a key argument or mine which was that funding could lead to more high intensity training because athlete could focus on just training and not as much on work or schooling. However I saw another argument open up thanks to his response which would be just as impactful as my other idea.
I switched part of my argument so that it now explained how funding international completion would impact the athletes in the same way. I know that a lot of older teammates always talk about how the cost is the main decider on whether or not they go and compete, so I thought what if all travel cost were taken care of using my funding idea.
Overall I learned a lot about some of the needs that national athletes require in order to compete at a high level everyday, and getting a sense of this really helped me write because now I felt more strongly about my argument.
In the end I composed an my final persuasion document in an blog format which I thought would be the best fit given that my audience are at an age where they need to now a lot of information but probably don’t want to read a whole essay. I worked with the material I got from my interview, and when it was done I composed an email and sent my final product back to my teammate. All that was left was to wait and see if I was convincing enough to get his approval.
It ended up working. He said he agreed with all of my ideas and really liked the in-depth explanation of how we could help our small national teams. He did not give a lot of feedback but I discussed with him at our next training and he told me that he thought it would be better if I elaborated on how the money situation with the government would work.
Overall this project had me going back and forth making changes to my ideas and refining ones I already had to strengthen them and making sure my ideas made sense. Trying to persuade my teammate was definitely not only fun, but I also saw it as a challenge which made me want to work harder at my writing.
That’s all for now