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Multiplicity

 

Techniques General persuasion > Creating Cognitive Load > Multiplicity

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

To occupy their minds keep talking. Do not just make one point and wait for an answer. Say many different things, one after the other. Make the things you say controversial or otherwise of sufficient interest to them that they will want to reply.

If they try to interrupt, prevent this. Talk faster, louder or otherwise signal that you will not allow interruption. Say things like 'I haven't finished yet' or 'I just want to make this final point'. Look away or touch them on the arm.

Then, either buried in the middle or when they are bursting to speak, make your key point.

Example

 Now you may or may agree with this but it must be said that several people here have not been pulling their weight. Yes I can see you want to reply but before that you need to know a few facts...

The conditions are not right now. The market is saturated, customers are not ready and we have a strong position. We can safely reallocate this budget. We also need to attend to the supplier issue which needs a meeting with them this week...

Discussion

When we converse with others, the ideal situation is that we make a single point, then politely invite comment. In reality, we tend to talk at length, covering several points at once. It is this structure that this method uses, forcing the listener to work hard both at remembering what was said and also formulating multiple responses.

The effect of all this is that few people will recall everything, which allows things to be said with little risk of challenge.

See also

Conversation techniques, Use of Language

 

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