Toronto, Canada, April 1, 2016 — The Language Lab (www.TheLanguageLab.ca), an industry-leading provider of business communications courses for both native English speakers and ESL clients worldwide, is weighing in on whether Donald Trump is winning the election because of his persuasion techniques.
According to Scott Adams, creator of the popular cartoon Dilbert, Donald Trump is winning the election because he is a “Master Persuader.” Adams, who doesn’t support Trump, outlined six persuasive skills that he believes Trump uses to succeed over his rivals. (Source: Economy, P., “The 6 Persuasion Secrets of Donald Trump, According to Dilbert’s Scott Adams,” Inc., March 25, 2016, http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/the-6-persuasion-secrets-of-donald-trump-according-to-dilbert-s-scott-adams.html.)
“A lot of people are shocked by Donald Trump’s success,” says Dr. Sandra Folk, founder and president of The Language Lab. “They listen to the outrageous statements he makes, many of which are bigoted, and they wonder how anyone could support him. The truth is that Trump uses many persuasive techniques. And these same techniques are just as effective in the business world, as they are in politics.”
Initially, many believed that Trump had little chance of winning the Republican nomination. Political sites, like FiveThirtyEight, pegged Trump’s chances at around 2 percent, favouring candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Despite this prediction, Trump quickly became the frontrunner, while other contenders dropped out of the race.
“Every time Trump made an outrageous statement, people thought his poll numbers would drop,” says Folk. “Instead, they actually increased. Part of the reason is every time he says something ridiculous, he receives huge media coverage. He uses these moments to get in front of the cameras. His behaviour is a perfect reminder that in any type of public speaking or communication in which you engage, you need to capture your audience’s attention.”
Adams believes that Trump persuades people by appealing to their emotions. According to Adams, most people have a tendency to be irrational, so Trump focuses on emotions rather than on well-conceived policies.
“If you look at the language he uses, it’s all very exaggerated and colourful,” notes Folk. “It’s designed to create fear and rile up people. He doesn’t say China is ‘beating us’—he says they’re ‘killing us.’ He knows that people are angry about losing jobs or wages not rising, and he knows how to tap into this anger.”
By appealing to emotions, Trump avoids relying on facts. Adams says many candidates try to memorize foreign leader’s names or policy details, but the public doesn’t care about these things. Since Trump doesn’t focus on facts, he can never be wrong.
“If you compare Trump’s language to other candidates, he has a much better understanding of communication,” says Folk. “Other candidates use big, statesman-like words that can confuse or bore people. Trump uses shorter, blunt words. He uses simple straightforward words, which is actually a strength. That’s why more people understand his message and what he’s saying.”
Adams’ blog has gained an Internet following because he analyzes Trump’s persuasion techniques, in detail. According to Folk, people, who don’t support Trump, can still learn from him.
“His views may be distasteful, but there is a lot that people can learn from his communication,” says Folk. “It’s equally as important, in your workplace, for you to understand your audience, use persuasive language, and communicate clearly. These techniques can help you be successful in your career and in your daily life.”
As an industry leader in business communication, The Language Lab provides full ten-week online language courses for clients, worldwide. They specialize in improving both oral and written communication, for native English speakers and second language learners (ESL). Their courses strengthen people’s ability to achieve success with their business writing, e-mail writing, report writing, PowerPoint, and speeches, using Practice Over Time methods.