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How to Use Power Phrases to Get What You Want

The way you phrase something and the words you use have the power to influence whether or not you get what you want. Make your speech more effective with these communication tips.


  • Step 1: Boast on your resume that you are an "expert" or "specialist." Other job-hunting power phrases include "record-breaking," "first-ever," "multimillion-dollar," and "created from scratch."
  • Step 2: Sometimes, the best power phrase you can use to get what you want is an intermittent "uh huh" as you let someone vent.
  • FACT: Greek philosopher Aristotle laid out 3 methods of persuasion: ethos, the character of the speaker; logos, or logical arguments; and pathos, arguments that appealed to the emotions of the audience.
  • Step 3: Create instant rapport by saying, "I shouldn't be telling you this…" Even if what follows is just a minor revelation, the person is going to feel good about you for confiding in them.
  • TIP: Use "and" to link commands. People are often more likely to comply with 2 commands in 1 sentence than with a single request.
  • Step 4: Ask "can you help me out?" when you need a favor. Appealing to someone's good nature is often an effective way to get what you want.
  • Step 5: Replace "but" with "and" in sentences. When people hear the word "but," they forget everything that preceded it and only remember the negative part. Using "and" turns it into a phrase that's more likely to get what you want.
  • Step 6: Say, "I'd like your opinion," whether you're dealing with your spouse, your children, your clients, or your employees. Everyone is more cooperative if they think they're being heard.

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