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Good News, Bad News and Persuasive Messages

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Yuan Lin Teo

on 5 September 2013

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Transcript of Good News, Bad News and Persuasive Messages

Background photo by t.shigesa
Good News, Bad News and Persuasive Languge
How to deliver the 'news'?
Why should they do this?
1) Is
2) Can
3) Will
1) Is not
2) Cannot
3) Will not
Space & Action
Allocate more space to Good News

Open with action rather than apology or explanation
Words to avoid
Denying words:
How do I phrase my words to make a bad news sound good?
What is in it for them?
Why should they care?
Purpose of persuasion
Converting your reader to your ideas
Motivate your reader to take action
6 shortcuts to the Science of Persuasion
Understand the principles of writing good and bad news

Be familiar of the fundamentals of writing persuasive letters

Be more confident and competent in writing all 3 kinds of letters

Why is the mastering the skills of writing good news important?
1) Appreciation

2) Recognition

3) Encouragement

4) Sincerity

What he is is not what he isn't.
Do not

Unpleasant words:
Unable to

Steps To Write Letter With Bad News
Start positively
Put yourself in reader’s place

Thank the reader

Positive, Friendly Closure
Express appreciation

Give invitation to future action

Express willingness to help further

Good wishes
Convey Bad News effectively
Provide needed details

Use Conditional Statement

Focus on “Can Do”

Imbed bad news
Provide alternatives
Helpful counter-proposal


Ideas for getting help needed

Possible future change
Avoid apologizing

Avoid Hiding Behind Company Policy

Be Sure audience understands the message
In response to your question about how many coats of Chem-Treat are needed to cover new surfaces: I regret to report that usually two are required. For such surfaces you should figure about 200 square feet per gallon for a good heavy coating that will give you five years or more of beautiful protection. 
In response to your question about how many coats of Chem-Treat are needed to cover new surfaces: I regret to report that usually two are required. For such surfaces you should figure about 200 square feet per gallon for a good heavy coating that will give you five years or more of beautiful protection.
In response to your question about how many coats of Chem-Treat are needed to cover new surfaces: One gallon is usually enough for one-coat coverage of 500 square feet of previously painted surface. For the best results on new surfaces, you will want to apply two coats.
We must turn down your payment extension request.
Please send in your payment by June 14.
Activity time!
1) We must deny your application.

2) We must reject your proposal.

3) We cannot ship in lots of less than 12.

Good letter with bad news
Dear Bill,
Your invitation for me to act as chairperson for BCCJ’s upcoming Annual Auction Dinner is an honor. I enjoyed serving in that role last year. Your members are an excellent group with great ideas, and it was a privilege to work with them.

This year I am involved in developing a new department here at the clinic that is taking up all my time. As much as I would enjoy working with BCCJ again, I am afraid that I wouldn’t be able to give the duties the attention the project deserves.

Perhaps I may suggest one of my colleagues who would have the time to do the job the way it ought to be done. Give me a call if you are interested, and I will be happy to suggest some names for you. We want the industry to be well represented.

I wish you and the committee great success in achieving this year’s goal.


Request or Good News

Main Ideas

Encouraging Closure


Bad News with reasons and alternatives

Polite closure that looks forward
What should you do?
Analyze why they may resist your message
Connect your purpose with their needs
How do we apply that?
Scenario: Making a request
Gain attention
Requesting favors: begin with a compliment, unexpected fact, stimulating question, reader benefit, summary of problem, or candid plea for

Claims: open with a review of the action you have taken to resolve the problem.
Build interest
Prove the accuracy and merit of your request.

Avoid sounding high-pressured, angry, or emotional.

Suggest direct and indirect benefits for the receiver.
Reduce resistance
Identify possible obstacles; offer counter arguments.

Demonstrate your credibility by being

In requesting favors or making
recommendations, show how the receiver or others will benefit.
Motivate action
Ask for specific actions confidently.

Include an end date, if appropriate.

Repeat a key benefit.
Scenario: Sales letters
Suggested Answer
We must deny your application.

The position has been filled.
Suggested Answer
We must reject your proposal

We've accepted the proposal from AAA Builders
Suggested Answer
We cannot ship in lots of less than 12

Positive: to keep down packaging costs and to help customers save on shipping costs, we ship in lots of 12 or more
Gain attention
Offer something valuable, promise a significant result, or describe a product feature.

Present a testimonial, make a startling statement, or show the reader in an action setting.
Build interest
Describe the product in terms of what it does for the reader.

Show how the product or service saves or makes money, reduces effort, improves health, produces pleasure, or boosts status.
Reduce resistance
Counter reluctance with testimonials, moneyback guarantees, attractive warranties, trial offers, or free samples.

Build credibility with results of performance tests, polls, or awards.
Motivate action
Close with repetition of the central selling point and clear instructions for an easy action to be taken.

Prompt the reader to act immediately with a gift, incentive, limited offer, or deadline.

Put the strongest motivator in a postscript.
Application to daily life?
Pick out how advertisements influence you
Influence people in their decision-making for the better
There are many ways to tell others about the same situation and finding the right ones that appeal in any way will help you deliver a message well.
Thank you!
How to deliever the 'news'
How to write bad news letters
Skills used in persuasion
How to apply it?
Persuasion is influence that requires communication. It can be used to influence beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations or behaviors.
By Eugene Tan Yen Hon & Teo Yuan Lin
Full transcript