I have engaged in several personal persuasive communications. The most remarkable one happened at my friend’s birthday party. I had attended the party, amidst other friends. The birthday friend did not have enough money to fund the party, and a discussion about saving money erupted. Out of experience, I became the main speaker trying to convince my friends how helpful saving can be. Some of them were reluctant and held that saving might not help. However, I managed to convince them of the importance of saving, and they all agreed. The speaker of the message was me. The audiences are my friends; the setting is my friend’s birthday party where he did not have enough money to hold the party, and the need to talk about saving erupted. According to the University of Illinois, the context explains the circumstances under which a text is produced. In this case, the context of the text is out of the friend’s insufficient funds to fund the party (“rhetorical situation – Center for academic success – UIS,” n.d.). The purpose is to convince people to start saving, and the text is a speech. This example is effective because it has all the components of a persuasive piece. It also seeks to persuade people to act.
In a professional context, persuasive communication happened during an organization’s unrest. Employees’ rights were not being addressed, and they felt that the organization was taking advantage of them. They decided to hold a peaceful demonstration. In response, the organization’s management wrote a memo informing them that an action had been taken. It stated that the issue of improving the working conditions would be addressed in a week. The speaker was the management, the audiences were the workers or employees, and the context was in the organization square, triggered by poor working conditions that the employees were working in. the purpose of the communication was to inform the employees that the issue was being addressed. The text is in the form of a memo. The example is effective because it happened in a professional setting and seeks to persuade an audience to stop a behavior. Professional communication expectations in my field are communicating with respect, diplomacy, and frankness and being mindful of the audience.
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In an academic context, before the last US election, we had been given an assignment of an article analysis. I read the Times newspaper and came across an exciting opinion post. The author talked about how students can manage their time effectively while doing other constructive things. The central theme was planning ahead. A week ago, a heated debate of how a student wasted all her time partying while studying had been on the headlines. The author is an educational specialist and a senior lecturer at Pennsylvania University. The message was written after realizing that students were wasting a lot of time forgetting about their studies. He wrote the message to inform students as the audience that they can manage their time and still do constructive things like part-time jobs, which was the purpose. The text was in the form of a written article in a mainstream newspaper. The example is effective because it employs the rhetorical parts and suits an academic context where it addresses students. Academic context differs from other contexts in that it is seeks to inform or impart knowledge and proving rather than instructing.
In any context, teamwork is inevitable. I could use collaboration and teamwork to persuade others in various ways. Firstly, by being respectful. Respect goes both ways, and when I respect other people’s opinions, they are likely to be convinced about my views (Macpherson, 2015). Secondly, by being an active listener in the group, team members can buy my ideas. Being an active listener would enable me to incorporate other people’s ideas because, as Johnson asserts, networking and being more social is advantageous in being creative and innovative (TED, 2010). In that case, networking with others through active listening would help me develop creative ideas that would persuade the team—besides, respect and active listening as ways of engaging in ethical communication.
Macpherson, A. (2015). Cooperative learning group activities for college courses. Surrey, BC Canada: Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 1-13.
The rhetorical situation – Center for academic success – UIS. (n.d.). The University of Illinois Springfield. https://www.uis.edu/cas/thelearninghub/writing/handouts/rhetorical-concepts/the-rhetorical-situation/#:~:text=
TED. (2010, September 21). Where good ideas come from | Steven Johnson [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/0af00UcTO-c