You’re a real estate expert. You know your city; you know the neighborhood; and you’ve run the comps. But your client just won’t listen. They go on and on about how their great aunt who lives not far from here — maybe thirty minutes — sold her house for $20,000 above the listing price you’re suggesting, and that was 3 years ago. And their cousin sold his for $25,000 above that. And maybe you’re just not the realtor for them.

What do you do?

Do you walk away from the client? Do you argue?

According to George J. Thompson in Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, no. While it is always within your rights to walk away, that should be your last option. And arguing is both unprofessional and ineffective.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get real estate clients to listen, especially when they don’t want to.

Step #1: Stay Calm

Never get upset.

Mushin, which translates to “no mind,” describes a state of being with no ego — no biases. A person in this state is calm and centered. No matter what is happening, she remains undisturbed.

In the book, Thompson says professionals must practice Mushin, especially in high tension situations. He stresses that the moment you show anger is the moment you lose power and any hope of controlling the situation.

Source: Pexels

Step #2: Deflect and Refocus

The two natural reactions to hearing something unpleasant is to grin and bear it or to argue and get sucked in. Neither option leads to a good result when you’re dealing with a difficult real estate client.

Instead, deflect and move forward professionally.

Deflecting phrases include:

  • I appreciate that
  • I’m sorry you feel that way
  • I hear that
  • I understand that

So you might say, “I understand that your great aunt sold her house for more, and I’m sorry you feel that I might not be the right realtor for you…” When deflecting, it’s important to use more than one phrase so you don’t sound abrupt.

After you’ve deflected, it’s time to refocus. The refocusing words are BUT or AND. For example, “… BUT I’m just trying to help you achieve your goal of selling fast.”

When you are deflecting and refocusing, always sound calm and interested; and make sure that everything you say after your refocusing word (BUT or AND) is professional and goal-driven.

Source: Pexels

Step #3: Ask, Explain, and Paint a Picture

Once you’ve refocused the conversation on the goal of your client selling their house, the next steps are as follows:

  1. Ask them to do what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal.
  2. Explain why it’s important.
  3. Present them with their options by painting a clear picture.

In an actual conversation, asking, explaining, and painting a picture look like this:

“Will you let me list your house for $480,000?”

If your client says no or appears unconvinced, add context. Tell them why it’s important they list at $480,000.

“It’s important that we list at $480,000 because that’s the highest you’re going to get in this buyer’s market, and I don’t want to waste your time or have you be disappointed down the line when your house doesn’t sell.”

If your client says no again or is still wavering, present their options.

“If you list at $480,000, you’ll be relaxing in front of the TV in your new home in under a month. If you list for more, you’ll be stuck here for months and will end up saying to me — let’s lower to $480,000. That happens all the time. So let’s list right the first time. You might even be able to move into your new house before Christmas.”

When presenting the options, paint a clear picture and follow this sequence: good, bad, reminder of good. Painting a clear picture helps get your client in touch with the reality of the situation, and sandwiching the bad scenario between the good makes it more likely they will choose the appealing option.

Source: Pexels

Being a realtor can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to help your client but they don’t want to listen. Using these techniques from Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion will help you manage your conversations with clients to help you both achieve the goal of getting their house sold.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help your real estate business here.

“None of that Granola stuff; I’m talking about full meals.”

Here at Airsend, we encourage our readers to have full and healthy breakfasts to start their day. After all, the mind cannot achieve wonderful things without sustenance. After researching and testing the perfect power breakfast, I have narrowed down the three most balanced meals. These power breakfasts are great for those who work 40-hours a week, go to school for what seems like 30-years of your life, or even for simply running errands. The point is, these three dishes are great for people who have busy lives and need something to push the productivity scale out of the water. Let’s dig in. 

Breakfast Burrito.

Three Vegan Breakfast Burritos wrapped in tin foil and displayed in a red basket

The Breakfast Burrito takes the first spot for one reason: it is a versatile breakfast! The recipe I decided to try out was a vegan breakfast burrito. Though I am not a vegan, I can take time to appreciate the scrumptious delight I received from this burrito. The best part about the breakfast burrito? Anything can go in a burrito! Meat, veggies, meat and veggies, even fruit! The breakfast burrito has all the qualities of a balanced meal. You have your protein, your veggies, your carbs, and you can pair a fruit smoothie with it.

The recipe I tried was perfect for on-the-go because it required little technique. Summed up, this recipe involved chopping and sautéing your vegetables, put it in a tortilla, and bam! You have your breakfast. With meat, I recommend waking a little extra early, so that way you have time to cook your meat just the way you like it. I also find it to be absolutely delectable if you saute your vegetables in the same pan after your meat. This allows for the full incorporation of unbelievable flavors. Vegan or Non-Vegan, doesn’t matter. The burrito is a well-balanced-versatile on-the-go breakfast. If you are now craving a breakfast burrito, click here to see the full recipe. 

Did Someone Say Pizza? Avocado and Egg Flatbread (Really, it’s a pizza)

Next up on our power menu, we have the Avacado and Egg Flatbread. Essentially a non-baked pizza. What I loved about this dish was the connection between simplicity and bold flavors. You have a plain avocado clashing with lime and salt and maybe a dash of cilantro (if you’re bold enough).  A little bit of acidity, some sweetness from the avocado, and a well-seasoned egg can go a long way. And of course, no matter what anybody says, everything goes great with carbs. I like to call it healthy-carbs. A whole-wheat tortilla is a way to add some finesse to your breakfast. And if you are feeling savvy, you can totally add some orange juice to your morning as well. The perfect citrus acidity combo with spiced avocado and egg. Also, bits of bacon also adds nice texture and saltiness to your pizza. Never underestimate bacon on a pizza. 

Peanut Butter Banana Quesadilla 

Finally, the Peanut Butter Banana Quesadilla. Personally, I found the peanut butter to be a bit muted in flavor with my wheat tortilla, so instead, I substituted for honey. I basically made a sopapilla or bunelo. The original recipe called for bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. Which all together sounds great. However, with my version, I took a flour tortilla, smeared honey, put some bananas, cinnamon, brown sugar, and drizzled some extra honey. Then, like every quesadilla, you fold it, put it in a pan and just brown it. I then topped it off with cinnamon.

Now, not everyone has the sweet tooth of a 10-year-old, so I do recommend making a healthy and balanced sweet quesadilla, or even a savory one is perfect as well. Perhaps, some egg, spinach, and ham? Or tofu, bell peppers, and red onions? Much like the burrito, you can do whatever you want with this dish. 

There you have it. These are the top three on-the-go power breakfasts that will definitely leave you feeling energized and ready to conquer the day. For more power breakfasts ideas, click here.

AirSend helps on-the-go professionals create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks with clients. See how AirSend can help you.

“No, I am not talking about Madonna.”

Alright, my colleagues. It is time for some tips and tricks to help get us in the groove of working from home. This is my first job where I work as a remote contractor, and for me, it was a bit difficult to adjust. I used to wake up every morning, wearing the same routine, drinking the same coffee, doing the same nothing. I wanted something new.

The point is, I now have a work from home job, and I needed to know how to adjust to things, fast. It had taken me some time to realize, “oh, I don’t have to get up two hours early anymore.” I also came to the question, “how can I be the most productive at home?” because let’s be honest; when we are at home, we do not want to deal with anything work-related. My version of having a good time at home is sitting on the couch with my cat, watching the Golden Girls, and eating cheesecake.

After understanding all the requirements needed to have a successful work from home job, I knew I needed a routine. Here are five ways to help get you in the groove of working from home.

1. Make a plan in the Morning.

Making a plan every morning of what I will conquer for the day has proved to be extremely helpful. Making a plan allows for a clear and focused mind, along with the motivation to get work done. Even if you are interrupted, always ensure that you can get your three tasks done. One of the platforms I use to help organize my tasks, is Trello, the digital scrum board.

It also helps if you implement a consistent schedule. Get up at the same time, get ready as if you were about to go to work, and then go and start today’s duties. Similarly, wrap up work at about the same time every day. Keeping up a rigorous schedule helps you maintain consistency over the long run and builds up good habits.

Though you don’t have to dress up every morning and physically leave for work, it is always a good idea to keep that consistent schedule. I have also found that keeping a regular schedule in a relaxed environment ensures higher and quicker productivity.

2. Move Around!

Much like a professional office, you will be sitting on average 8-10 hours a day, and often after a long and tiring day, we find ourselves sitting some more! STOP! Don’t get the wrong idea; it is great to relax at home; however, when you have a job that is coinciding with your home life, it is important to keep your body active.

Take some walks during your breaks to get some fresh air, tend to your pepper garden (because everyone totally has one), meditate, and even stretching goes a long way. When your body moves around, there is an increase in blood flow, which then allows for more of a positive mindset, ergo more productivity. Moving around> positivity> motivation> increased productivity.

3. Put on the Jams.

One of my favorite jams to listen to is Lo-Fi hip-hop. Lo-fi is a music or production quality in which elements usually regarded as imperfections of a recording or performance are audible, sometimes as a deliberate aesthetic choice.

In other words, lo-fi is an ironic style of music in that the imperfections are quite soothing. The soothing element is what inspires me to be productive. These are some of my favorite channels I recommend listening to Chilled Cow, College Music, The Jazz Hop Cafe, and Chillhop Music

For more recommendations, you can visit a playlist I have created that has various types of productive music. Of course, your jams do not have to surround lo-fi music. As long as your jams inspire you to be productive, then you are on the right track

4. Communication.

Again, since you are no longer in an office, it is crucial to have all forms of communication open. Do not be afraid to ask co-workers advice, questions, or to have a small chat to get to one another. Remember, an essential skill in remote work is communication.

We all need to be aware that we have to be very responsive and also honor and respect others. Of course, keep the conversation in moderation. It is easy for communication to become a form of distraction. What I find works best is that if you have multiple tasks to work on, mute all types of notifications, so that you have 100% focus on what is in front of you.

5. Separate Work from Down Time.

Keeping work and personal time separate is probably one of the most crucial aspects to remember when you are working from home. The hardest part of remote work is that there is no separation of time for work and time for being completely switched off. Without the downtime, it is hard to recharge and work your best.

Here is my advice from someone who told me the same thing: Try not to check email from your mobile every few mins, turn off notifications outside of your working hours, etc. It also helps to keep your workplace only for work, and you don’t use the same space (if possible) when you are off. While it is important to be productive and focus on getting work done, it is also vital to focus on yourself and have “me time.” Without taking time for yourself to recharge, your productivity will falter. 

These are my five methods to help get me into the groove when working from home. It takes time to adapt, but once you set a routine for yourself, you will find working to be much more comfortable, and you will be happier. 

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help.

“Introducing the Marketing Guide 101: Creating a professional blog.”

Creating a professional blog has become the preferred marketing for many businesses. For modern startups, it has become an absolute must. Of course, starting a professional blog for business is not as easy as one might think. There are many things to consider, such as bringing in traffic, reliability, and networking. Worry not, this blog post will discuss each of these topics.

When starting a professional blog for business, you must think of rhetoric. The goal is to drive traffic to your website/business, so what is the one guaranteed way to have people coming back? Rhetoric is the foundation in which you discover the essence of your business and who you are marketing too. For more tips on Rhetoric, check out our other post, here. For now, this post will simply focus on why you should have a professional blog.

Hot Traffic

Blog posts often convert more customers than dedicated landing pages for paid ads. The reason is that when people go to your blog, they are experiencing a connection with a writer and not a computer. It is important to remember that with blogging the goal is to build a connection with your audience, with the blog serving as a medium. To use blogging effectively, you must leverage search engines and social media.

In other words, continuously publishing new content daily. Publishing daily ensures search engines checking your site regularly for updates, which also means your search traffic goes up, and if your search traffic goes up, there is an increased chance to convert that traffic into customers.

#1 Go-To

Do you know what trait all the most successful business blogs share? Answering the questions that their customers (or potential customers) most frequently ask. The more useful content you publish for your target audience, the likely those prospective clients are sure to come to see you and your brand as the #1 Go-To.

By publishing content in your expertise regularly, over time, you become a reliable resource for your specific industry or niche. And that’s one of the biggest privileges of the internet: you have a chance to compete even with big brands and huge corporations by building trust with your target audience. Becoming the #1 Go-To platform for content also ensures long-term results for your blog.


Having a professional blog with quality articles and an established audience also means attention from other platforms. With the right amount of attention, your professional blog could be headlining the front page. This gives a boost to your article shares if the interviewer shares it with his or her own audience through social media or newsletter.

But, most importantly, having a professional blog allows the opportunity to create genuine relationships with influential business figures, which leads to important new business opportunities and other meaningful connections. That’s why blogging gives a huge boost to your business network.

So, if you are wondering why having a professional blog is important, think of it this way; blogging ensures success for your business and/or platform.

AirSend helps businesses create a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Have you ever wondered if there’s another way to grow your real estate business? One that doesn’t involve cold calls, door knocking, or sending cards and emails to old clients that you know just end up in the trash.

Traditional real estate sales methods are high hustle and low pay-off. Maybe that’s why 87% of realtors fail within the first five years of business according to the National Association of Realtors.

Other reasons for such a high failure rate include the low barrier of entry for becoming a real estate agent and the way large brokerages recruit and train agents like they’re creating an army of clones. They teach every new agent the same ways to find sellers and buyers, the same tactics on how to land clients, even give everyone the same scripts to read from.

This leads to an overabundance of agents and brokers competing neck-and-neck for a limited market — what we call a red ocean.

Source: GIPHY

Don’t Swim with Sharks – Create Your Own Waters

Blue ocean strategy says businesses that create new markets instead of struggling in existing markets find opportunities for growth that are rapid and highly profitable.

There are many well-known examples of this. Take Canon — the company that spawned the personal desktop copier industry. Or iTunes — Apple’s strategic answer to the illegal music file sharing boom that started in the late 90’s.

Instead of catering to office purchasing managers like its competitors, Canon saw that secretaries used copiers and printers every day and had different requirements that were not being fulfilled. The company built compact, accessible desktop machines that offered secretaries the features they wanted.

Apple took advantage of the shift from physical CDs to digital music by providing a legal way to buy individual songs at low prices — something that had never been done before. The company generated additional value with improved sound quality and a polished user experience.

In both cases, the companies saw opportunity in previously ignored demographics and formed new markets by offering products that provided enormous value at low prices. In other words, they created blue oceans — market spaces free of competition — through value innovation.

Source: Pexels

Value innovation is the key to creating a blue ocean. It is the combination of increasing end user value and decreasing price.

More Customer Value + Lower Price = Value Innovation

By providing a leap in overall value for customers, you make the competition irrelevant. You no longer have competition. Instead of fighting for your life in the bloody, shark-infested waters of a red ocean, you have a market all to yourself —  a blue ocean.

Value Innovation in Real Estate

So how do you apply blue ocean strategy to your real estate business? It starts with a shift in mindset and ends with asking a few questions.

Traditional business paradigms are all about beating the competition. You ask yourself, “What is my competition doing, and how can I do it better?”

What that looks like in real estate is: how can I run more ads? How do I make more cold calls? Where do I find better leads? It looks like spending more on social media advertising, slick logos, and fancy flyers.

And what blue ocean strategy says in response is STOP.

Source: Pexels

Stop trying to beat your competitors because the more you try to beat them, the more you start to look the same. Don’t assume that because a competitor is doing something, you should too. Stop using predetermined industry practices as a benchmark for your business.

Instead, shift your focus from your competitors to your customers.

Remember, value innovation is the combination of increasing customer value and decreasing price.

So how do you do that? Four words, or questions:

Eliminate. Reduce. Raise. Create.

  1. What factors or processes can I eliminate that the industry takes for granted?
  2. Which standards in the real estate industry can be reduced?
  3. What standards should be raised?
  4. What can I create that the industry has never offered before?

Case Study: REX

One example of a successful real estate business that has, knowingly or not, followed blue ocean strategy is REX.

Founded in 2015, REX has since raised $115M and grown to 64 employees. It has done so through value innovation — offering customers a giant leap in value at a much lower price.

Let’s see how.


REX saves its customers time by assigning each customer a pre-screened agent and photographer, eliminating the hassle of choice.

Trying to find the best real estate agent to help sell a home or a good photographer to take professional pictures takes time. The process starts with research, then interviews, then making a decision — a long process that comes with no guarantee that you’ve made the right choice. REX removed that obstacle.


Instead of charging the traditional 5 to 6% commission, REX charges a reduced fee of 2% to sell a home. The company can do this because it eliminated the traditional agent/broker commission structure.


REX raised industry standards by implementing artificial intelligence and big data to provide its customers with more accurate home pricing and marketing.

Without the help of big data analytics technology, pricing and marketing a home is more art than science. Every real estate agent is taught to run comps and knows the result is an educated guess at best, and quality of marketing varies agent to agent. REX changed that.


By combining the above elements into an easy-to-use digital platform and system, REX created a simpler way to buy and sell homes.

Use Case #2: Lawyers Conveyancing

Another example of a successful real estate business that has followed blue ocean strategy is Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd., also known as Lawyers Conveyancing.

Founded by Peter Mericka, an Australian lawyer, the company shows how sometimes it takes someone from a parallel industry to transform the way another industry does business. Through value innovation, Lawyers Conveyancing provides customers peace of mind and a much lower price.

This is how.


Lawyers Conveyancing gives its customers peace of mind by eliminating the agent altogether. Instead, a lawyer helps a seller handle their transaction from beginning to end, including all of the paperwork and listing on the Australian version of the MLS.

Trying to find the best real estate agent to help sell a home takes time and can feel like people are trying to sell you their services left and right. Lawyers Conveyancing ended that struggle.


Instead of charging the traditional commission, the service charges a single flat fee to sell a home.


Because no part of the process is commission-based, there is a higher level of trust and integrity involved in the process.


By implementing the above changes, Lawyer Conveyancing created the perfect way to sell homes for a certain type of seller.

What now? Think big.

Source: GIPHY

You might be wondering — what does this have to do with me?

The same techniques that we have been discussing that worked for REX can work for any business, no matter how big or small.

Whether your goal is to start a multi-million dollar real estate business or beat last year’s sales, asking and implementing the four questions that lead to value innovation will help you generate more value for customers — leading to happier clients and a wealthier you.

So go ahead and eliminate, reduce, raise, and create.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for real estate professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

“Scrum Board + Kanban = Awesome.”

First off what is a Scrum Board and a Kanban? A Scrum Board and a Kanban are both a visual representation of the work that needs to be done. Scrum and Kanban are both iterative work systems that rely on process flows and aim to reduce time waste. However; there are a few main differences between the two. Kanbans are used for personal use, while Scrum Boards are used for the workplace. Let’s take a deeper look.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

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Image from Google Images

Success does not work without responsibility. Whether you are assigning responsibility to a team at work or to yourself, responsibility ensures success. However, some people have trouble dealing with responsibility. Do you ever have difficulty completing chores? Make a Kanban! Kanban’s are great for motivation and maximize efficiency.


First, you list all your tasks on sticky notes in a “To-Do” column. Next, if you’re like me who can only do one assignment at-a-time, you move the assigned task into the “Doing” column. Once the task is completed, you move the sticky note to the “Done” column.

As reiterated before, a Kanban is great for personal usage. Now, when I use my Kanban, I find myself at ease and motivated to complete my work. Today, I use Trello. Trello is a digital Kanban that works exactly the same as a traditional Kanban, however with Trello, there are a ton of customizations to help with productivity.

Scrum Board

Scrum Boards are a little different. As reiterated before, both Kanban and Scrum Boards have the same concept, different usage. Whereas a Kanban is made for personal usage, Scrum Boards are made for the workplace. Though Scrum Boards are mainly used by software development teams, the scrum board is catching on with other industries.

Scrum Boards are also great for sprints. Sprints last for two weeks and are made for hustling on leftover assignments. This again provides a visual outlook of where each team is at, maximizes productivity, and enables peace of mind to everyone working on their assigned tasks.

Aside from the magical usage of a Kanban and a Scrum Board, the key fact is that they both eliminate stress and pressure of looming assignments. Their true usage is to help you visualize an organized layout of assignments.

Without having a visual, or an organized plan of action, it is nearly impossible to be stress-free. I cannot explain how many times a Kanban has saved me from falling apart. From what past co-workers tell me as well, is that Scrum Boards have implemented a positive stress-free environment because they had a plan of action.

If you need help getting organized at home or at work, we suggest creating a Kanban or a Scrum Board. I guarantee your life will be much easier.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

“3 forms of persuasion = unstoppable success.”

Ethos: Character of the Speaker

Ethos is the first mode of persuasion. The intent of the speaker is to appear credible. According to Aristotle, there are three prerequisites that are necessary to appear credible: Competence, Good Intention, and Empathy. Jeremy Porter, a communication consultant, gives a great example of ethos: George Clooney.

Image result for george clooney
Image from Google Images.

“If George Clooney was to take the stage and begin talking about the art of acting, he would already have Ethos. People know Clooney is an actor and is good at his craft. He isn’t required to build authority, credibility or trust with his audience. A player from the local theater company is less likely to be known to their audience and may have to build ethos with the audience,” (Porter, 2014). However,  “if he was to take the stage and talk about basketball, he may have to build ethos with his audience because they might not be aware he’s a basketball fanatic. Clooney would have to talk about his love for the game going back to high school, recall his game with the President, and his love for the Dallas Mavericks,” (Porter, 2014).

So, taking the example from Porter, how do we apply it to the marketing industry? Simple enough. Remember, Ethos is how the speaker appears- the character. Additionally, your goal is to appear credible. The way you appear credible is knowing the area of expertise you are in. With the knowledge of your specific field, consumers will want to put their trust in you. Trust is one of the foundations of persuasion. There is a lot of research that goes into knowing what you do, however, if you are like George Clooney, and know what you are talking about, the art of persuasion will be in your hands.

Pathos: Emotional Influence

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Pathos is a persuasive technique that tries to convince an audience through emotions. Pathos appeal to the senses, memory, nostalgia, or shared experience. The goal: build a common bond through shared identity, and inspire action. An example to think of is St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Or if you’re an animal lover, think of the America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Either way, when a speaker uses pathos, the success of persuasion is to appeal to their emotions. How do you think Shakespeare was so successful in his playwrights? Each time he persuaded his audience to come back through emotion. When your audience begins to feel, the chances of them coming back, or even being persuaded is increased.

My advice: Know who your audience is. Get personal with them. What will pull their heartstrings? Place yourself in their shoes.

Logos: Logical Appeal

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Image from Google Images.

Logos is the appeal towards logical reason. The speaker wants to present an argument that appears to be sound to the audience. It encompasses the content and arguments of the speech. Logos examples in advertisement include the citation of statistics, facts, data, charts, and graphs. Statistics, surveys, facts, and historical data can make a product seem like a more reasonable decision. In essence, do your research.

Logos is particularly important when trying to persuade people who know a lot about the topic you’re addressing. Logos is also important because it can help build ethos. Porter uses another great example that demonstrates Logos: ” Consider the local theater actor who is about to speak on the craft of acting. There is no ethos present if the audience knows nothing about the actor. It’s necessary for the actor to build ethos before the audience sees them as credible, trustworthy, and authoritative. How does the actor build ethos? The actor could share experiences of their acting career, namedrop famous actors they’ve worked with, or show photos of them on stage,” (2014).


Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are all vital elements to persuasion. The three forms are the foundational prowess that creates and innovate marketing to what it is now.

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Image from Google Images.

In this blog post, I discussed the ins and outs of the three forms of persuasion, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. To be unstoppable in the working industry, knowledge of the three forms of persuasions is recommended. Absorbing this knowledge will not only help you in the future working industry but also help you understand the five levels of rhetoric. For more information on the five levels of rhetoric, click here.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

“With our Roman rhetorical knowledge, we too can sway our audience, and therefore increase our success. ”

Rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, When understanding rhetoric, the best historical figure to refer to is Cicero, who is probably the most influential writer when it comes to rhetoric. Here, I will discuss the tips and tricks we can learn from Cicero’s five canons of rhetoric and apply them to today’s professional world. Here are the five canons in a nutshell.

Inventio: Systematic search for arguments.

As Aristotle once defined, the invention involves discovering the best available means of persuasion. Here is a strategy I recommend: brainstorm ideas on what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Brainstorming ideas will maximize your persuasion.  

During the inventio phase, it is also crucial to know your audience and what you want to accomplish with your audience. Understanding who your audience is will provide the foundation of how you should go about selling your idea. For example, a real estate agent’s goal is to have clients buy and sell homes. The question then remains, how to sell your clients on the perfect home? Aside from the three forms of persuasion, ethos, pathos, and logos, it is vital for a real estate agent to know who they are selling to. By understanding the background of their clients – likes and dislikes, why they are looking for a new home – the real estate agent can then brainstorm ideas (inventio) and layout a base foundation (or map) on an approach to selling a home or finding the perfect home.

In sum, Inventio will provide the groundwork for how you want to share and persuade your idea. Inventio is the most critical level of persuasion. because it is the beginning of ideas, how to persuade your ideas, and most importantly, understanding your clients and why they should be persuaded. Inventio allows for a personal transaction of understanding between the speaker and the audience. How do you think Cicero became so famous? Once you have these fundamentals down, you can move on to the second level, Dispositio.

Dispositio: Organization of arguments

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Image from Google Images

With Dispositio, the goal to remember is announcing your subject or the purpose of your speech with the intent to persuade. Remember, Dispositio is the crafty organization or arrangement of arguments. To have a crafty arrangement is to immediately grab your clients attention. Once you have their attention, persuasion becomes much easier. One way to captivate your audience is by arranging your persuasion with a story. Take Insurance commercials for example. The goal for insurance commercials is, of course, to sell insurance. We see the story element in all the commercials. They implement all the elements to a story: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Taking the 5 W’s they create a story that hooks your attention and in the end, connect your emotions to the commercial, and ultimately persuade you to buy insurance.

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Image from Google Images.

A book I recommend to help create a story through persuasion is, “Made to Stick,” written by Cheap and Dan Heath. In summation, this book offers incredible insight into the anatomy of ideas and why they stay. Arranging a captivating story for your clients is the beginning of success and a keynote in persuasion. After arranging your persuasive speech, we need to add some finesse: elocutio.

Elocutio: Mastery of stylistic elements

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The one thing to remember when it comes to elocutio is style. How do you add style to your speech? Well, if you know your audience, I recommend breaking the language barrier with colloquialism. Nothing makes a client more comfortable when the same tongue is being spoken. Mind you, colloquialism and slang are two different things. We want to finesse our speech with comfortability and professionalism. In other words, make sure when delivering your persuasion, you also implement correctness, clarity, common language, and choice of persuasion- ethos, pathos, or logos.

One of the prime examples I think of is sales associates in the retail industry. Being a previous associate, I can certainly vouch that our training was indeed persuasion. In other words, it was our job to get the customer to buy our product, and what better way to persuade customers than adding heavy adjectives (style) to our language. During your conversation with your client, take the time to understand their interests, likes, and dislikes, where they grew up, etc. Creating that personal transactional relationship, while also inserting casual language ensures the sale. Consumers want to feel welcomed, they want to place their trust in someone they know, and when you are implementing persuasion it is best to do it with simplified language. Finally, we have memoria and pronunciatio.

Memoria  and Pronunciatio: Art of Memory and Delivery

A key tip to remember: if you can commit your speech to memory, your delivery becomes more powerful. In other words more impact and an increase in persuasion. Take defense attorneys for example. “How to Get Away with Murder,” starring Viola Davis, shows a perfect example of persuasion through memory and delivery. It is not only a defense attorney’s job to defend their client, but also to persuade the jury to believe the defense is innocent.

The way to do this, of course, is to first commit the speech to memory. Afterward, it all comes down to how you will deliver your speech. Which approach will you take, i.e. the logical, emotional, or credible? The memorization aspect allows the defense attorney to deliver emphasis on certain parts of the speech, pauses for effect, and direct eye contact with the jurors.

Research your idea (inventio)+ Arrange your idea with a story (Dispositio)+ Get Personal with your Client = Memory/Persuasion (rhetoric).

Follow these five levels of rhetoric, and I guarantee your persuasion game will be secure.

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