Here’s another key element of persuasion. People are more likely to believe you if you give them an opportunity to experience evidence that support your claim. A recent study about climate change illustrates this well. People are more likely to believe that global warming is a real issue on a day that is warmer than normal. When asked to give toward climate change initiatives, they tend to give four times more if the day is warmer than normal.
This makes total sense though if you think about it. You can talk about giving to mission projects until you are blue in the face, trying to get people to invest. But until you take someone to see it and experience it, they’ll never connect on a truly personal level.
I remember a few years ago, I was at a church that had pretty neglected facilities for kids. We were only about a year away from a pretty big remodel and a capital campaign for that remodel, but the facilities were absolutely atrocious. The carpet was disgusting, the metal folding chairs were falling apart and the bathroom was grossly insufficient for the number of kids in that room. It seemed that my requests fell on deaf ears… especially since the remodel was coming (although it had already been delayed by 3 years).
So, we changed our tactics. My leadership team requested a meeting with the board to be hosted in that particular room. They sat in the rickety metal chairs, experienced the disgusting carpet and asked all of them to use the bathroom that their sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters have to use.
By the next day, I had all the money I needed to by 150 new chairs, new carpet and they had another bathroom installed… plus I had an administrator who was furious at me for going over his head (but he was primarily responsible for the state of the facilities).
So, if you need to state your case, help your audience experience the evidence to support your argument.
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