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NARRATOR: Mike Siegel is a communications consultant; a media giant; a pop culture icon, you can find him on Wikipedia; a big mouth lawyer; a liberal turned conservative; an advocate of business; a bit of a health nut; and a good momma’s boy from Brooklyn. What most people don’t know is that Mike Siegel has a PhD in communications, volunteers for several charity groups, and has dedicated much of his life to higher education both as student and teacher. Now, enjoy this presentation from Dr. Siegel.

DR. SIEGEL: Well folks, we have been covering a whole range of communication issues during this series of broadcasts, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed them, and I hope that you’re learning something from them. One of the things that is vitally important to do is to make sure you relisten and relisten and relisten, because none of this is going to make any sense unless you internalize what we are talking about and especially when we talk about persuasive communication and the power of persuasive communication. It is essential that you understand how you go about creating a persuasive message, both verbally and nonverbally. Of course, we are going to get to nonverbal communication in another program, but let’s talk about persuasion, because in effect, persuasion is the creation of a message, whether it is a speech or two people sitting down and having a conversation or a small group of five or six people trying to make a decision for a company about what direction to take on a particular issue. In effect, persuasion is influencing the attitudes or beliefs or values or behavior of the people you are involved with in that communication process.

Now what is an attitude? Very simply, it is a complex mental state, and it involves a whole range of thought process about how you feel toward things in the world. It involves your beliefs and your feelings and your values and your dispositions towards certain points of view. How about your belief system, if you want to affect somebody’s belief system? Well a belief is a cognitive content. In other words, the thought process that you hold as true, what you believe to be true, what you hold as the truth as you see it, and then the value that someone holds. Well this is an ideal. This is a very large, broad ideal accepted by an individual or a group and so you are going to be wanting to affect one or more of those attitudes, values, or beliefs and then also very possibly people’s behavior. You want to affect people’s behavior. For example, if you are doing a speech, trying to get people to donate money to a particular charity, you are going to want to appeal to them in terms of their values. Maybe it is a charity for children who are neglected or abused and you want to work with an organization that helps these children, and maybe you want people to donate money to that organization because you know they do great work for the children. You’ve got to get to somebody’s values about wanting to protect children, their attitudes about making sure that our future generations have the basis for going forward and being successful in this society, and some of these kids do not get that break because they come from dysfunctional homes. If an organization is helping them, you want to make that point by really appealing to the attitudes people have about those children. Same thing with beliefs. The bottom line, though, in that case is you want them to donate money. That is the behavior. Well let’s talk about that with Scott Thayer, who is a premier individual when it comes to the communications. He has had great experience and background in this field. And Scott, does that make sense to you about trying to appeal to people really in their mental state, the values, beliefs, the attitudes, in order to then get them to carry out the behavior you want?

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