Tag Archives: Harvard Business Review

The Persuasive Power of … Uncertainty?

I recently listened to a fascinating, but somewhat counterintuitive, interview on the powers of persuasion via the Harvard Business Review podcast. In it, Stanford marketing researcher Zakary Tormala details findings of his recent study on influence and persuasion from experts and non-experts. What was of particular note was this eye- (and ear-) catching finding: experts who offer a degree of well-timed uncertainty when trying to persuade or influence others are often more successful in their impact than those who bloviate or come across as all-knowing.

Interesting . . .

As Tormala explains it, when someone who is considered an expert, whether that be a newspaper movie critic, a restaurant reviewer or even a CEO, displays a degree of uncertainty or humility in their speech or writings, people often listen to them more. It’s part of the surprise factor, Tormala notes, and it works, despite being counterintuitive to almost everything we think about persuasion. Continue reading

Think Globally with Your Next Social Media Campaign

Portrait of a businessman sitting on steps with a globe Model Release: Yes Property Release: NASitting in a Barnes & Noble recently, I came across a fascinating article in Harvard Business Review analyzing social Web use around the world from a societal and cultural perspective. While the broad overview analysis offered was mostly typical of many recent “state of social media” reporters we have seen recently, what truly caught my attention was the implication this analysis has from a PR and marketing perspective: Continue reading