“Public opinion is a collection of views held by persons interested in the subject.” Meaning a person who is uninterested or maybe even unaware of a topic is not a part of public opinion.

Opinion leaders: People who are knowledgeable and communicate about certain issues. Described by sociologists as:

  1. highly interested in a subject or issue
  2. better informed on an issue that the average person
  3. avid consumers of mass media
  4. early adopters of new ideas
  5. good organizers who can get other people to take action

Persuasion is used for three things:

  1. change or neutralize hostile opinions
  2. crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
  3. conserve favorable opinions

There are certain persuasion techniques taken with public speaking:

  • Yes-yes – Start out with points the listener will most likely say yes to; this will encourage the listener to say yes at the conclusion.
  • Offer structured choice – Give the audience two options — A or B.
  • Seek partial commitment – Earn commitment of a small task from the listener that will encourage the listener to commit to the main conclusion.
  • Ask for more, settle for less – When submitting a part of a program to a public relations manager, be prepared to drop parts of the program.