THE INTENSIFY/DOWNPLAY STRATEGY

Given the hundreds of tactics used by professional persuaders, it's often easy to lose sight of your overall goal or persuasion strategy.

Persuasion researcher Hugh Rank has developed a simple but highly practical model that explains how professional persuaders think strategically. Rank developed the model to help people become critical receivers of persuasion. However, it is also a highly practical planning tool.

Rank calls his model the intensify/downplay schema. Persuaders use two broad strategies to achieve their aims. They can intensify or highlight particular features of what they want to promote – be it a product, a politician, or an idea – or they can downplay the points they want to make. Often, they can ...

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