“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:
- highly interested in a subject or issue
- better informed on an issue that the average person
- avid consumers of mass media
- early adopters of new ideas
- good organizers who can get other people to take action
Persuasion is used for three things:
- change or neutralize hostile opinions
- crystallize latent opinions and positive attitudes
- 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.