An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Who speaks to the instincts speaks to the deepest in mankind, and finds the readiest response.


Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888, American educator, social reformer)


To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them.


St. Thomas Aquinas


Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within; there lies the power to persuade, there the life, if one must speak out, the real man.


Marcus Aurelius (121-12180, Roman emperor, philosopher)


The truth isn't the truth until people believe you, and they can't believe you if they don't know what your saying, and they can't know what you've saying if they don't listen to you, and they won't listen to you if you're not interesting, and you won't be interesting until you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.


William Bernbach (1911-1982, American advertising executive)


Let him who wants to move and convince others, be first moved and convinced himself.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Not brute force but only persuasion and faith are the kings of this world.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


He makes people pleased with him by making them first pleased with themselves.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


If you would convince others, seem open to conviction yourself.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Nothing is so unbelievable that oratory cannot make it acceptable.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


Roughly speaking, any man with energy and enthusiasm ought to be able to bring at least a dozen others round to his opinion in the course of a year no matter how absurd that opinion might be. We see every day in politics, in business, in social life, large masses of people brought to embrace the most revolutionary ideas, sometimes within a few days. It is all a question of getting hold of them in the right way and working on their weak points.


Aleister Crowley (1875-1947, British occultist)


It is nobler to convert souls, than to conquer kingdoms.


Louis Debonnaire


I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, American President (34th))


That which we do not believe, we cannot adequately say; even though we may repeat the words ever so often.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


For your own good is a persuasive argument that will eventually make a man agree to his own destruction.


Janet Frame (1924-, New Zealand novelist, poet)


If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Oral delivery aims at persuasion and making the listener believe they are converted. Few persons are capable of being convinced; the majority allow themselves to be persuaded.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


People have a peculiar pleasure in making converts, that is, in causing others to enjoy what they enjoy, thus finding their own likeness represented and reflected back to them.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Secrecy has many advantages, for when you tell someone the purpose of any object right away, they often think there is nothing to it.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


To make converts is the natural ambition of everyone.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


The art of pleasing consists in being pleased.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


The persuasion of a friend is a strong thing.


Homer (c. 850 -? BC, Greek epic poet)


Why harass with eternal purposes a mind to weak to grasp them?


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


As there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it, so reasonable arguments, challenges to magnanimity, and appeals to sympathy or justice, are folly when we are dealing with human crocodiles and boa-constrictors.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


If I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many things to please him.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


If I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many things to please him.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


There is a holy, mistaken zeal in politics, as well as in religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves.


Junius (1769-1771, Anonymous British letter writer)


If you wish to win a man over to your ideas, first make him your friend.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion.


Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859, American essayist and historian)


You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.


John Morely


People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the minds of others.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found out by others.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


I don't know the rules of grammar. If you're trying to persuade people to do something or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.


David Ogilvy (1911-1999,  American businessman, advertising expert)


Before you try to convince anyone else, be sure you are convinced, and if you cannot convince yourself, drop the subject.


John H. Patterson (American businessman, founder of National Cash Register)


The secret is to always let the other man have your way.


Claiborne Pell


The tongue can paint what the eye can't see.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


More flies are caught with honey than with vinegar.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Those that will not hear must be made to feel.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


He that winna be ruled by the rudder maun be ruled by the rock.


Scottish Proverb (Sayings of Scottish origin)


You must make the product interesting not just make the ad different. And that's what too many of the copywriters in America today don't yet understand.


Rooser Reeves


The young mind is pliable and imitates, but in more advanced states grows rigid and must be warmed and softened before it will receive a deep impression.


Joshua Renolds


One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears -- by listening to them.


Dean Rusk (1909-1994, American democratic politician)


Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.


Sun Tzu (c 400-430 BC, Chinese military strategist, author of "Art of War")


Whenever he met a great man he groveled before him, and my-lorded him as only a free-born Briton can do.


William M. Thackeray (1811-1863, Indian-born British novelist)


I have with me two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion.


Themistocles (528-462 BC Greek statesman, soldier)


You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.


James Thurber (1894-1961, American humorist, illustrator)


If you can't get people to listen to you any other way, tell them it's confidential.


Author Unknown


Persuasion is better than force.


Author Unknown


That which proves too much, proves nothing!


Author Unknown


When a heart is on fire, sparks always fly out of the mouth.


Author Unknown


The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.


Zig Ziglar (1926-, American sales trainer, author, motivational speaker)

Author's website:


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