Five Practical Tips for Persuasive Writing

I would like to share with you some practical tips for persuasive writing that I learned from professor Mike Long at Georgetown University. Writing to persuade can be an intimidating task, but if we prepare ourselves, organize our thoughts, and use convincing arguments we can do it successfully.

Before you write a word, spend time thinking

Writing is the process of registering ideas on paper. If your thoughts are not clear your writing will not be clear. To start writing you must be able to identify and order the main ideas that you want to communicate. Make a list of the big points you need to make and then narrow these points down to the absolutely necessary. If you try to cover too many things you will lose the opportunity to persuade the reader on your most important points. When you are able to summarize your thoughts in one or two sentences, then you are ready to write a clear and convincing text.

The key is organization

After organizing your thoughts it’s time to organize your writing. Use the introduction, development and conclusion structure to present you ideas in the text. In the introduction you should clearly state the point of the document to get the attention of the reader early on. Use the introduction to present the main ideas that you will be discussing. In the development you will argue your points. Make sure to pick one main idea for each paragraph and argue it using evidence. In the conclusion you restate your big points and give the reader a sense of closure. Be careful not to introduce new ideas in the conclusion because main ideas should be fully argued in the body of the text.

Add evidence

Business writing has the purpose of informing and persuading the reader, which is done through arguing with evidence. When you add evidence to prove your points it shows that you have spent time considering and researching the subject and that your conclusions are worth considering. Evidence comes in different forms. They could be facts, statistics, logic thinking, case studies, history, personal experiences, examples and even anecdotes. Illustrate your main ideas with evidence and you will have a better chance to persuade your audience.

Who is the audience?

If your purpose is to inform and persuade, you will have to consider your audience to choose the best argument. Show that you care for the reader to understand you points. Explain things using language and examples that are familiar to them. Your text should have the ability to inspire and to communicate complicated things in simple ways.

If you have a call to action, do it in the end.

If you want the reader to do something you must state your call to action clearly in the end of your text. You can also use calls to action throughout the piece but readers remember best the last thing they see. For this reason the last words of your text should be your call to action.

These tips have been valuable to me and I hope they will be helpful to you. Convincing someone of something is easier when you know exactly what you want to convey and use powerful evidence tailored to the audience that will read you text.

Movimento Outubro Rosa

This slide presentation is about the history of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign and the importance of the campaign in Brazil. The presentation is in portuguese. It was developed as a volunteer work for a Brazilian non-profit organization that cares for needy patients undergoing cancer treatments in the city of Vitória da Conquista – Brazil. To know more about the organization please visit

Haiti – Design for Development

This fictional speech was to be delivered by the head of the Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center for the Georgetown MBA students. 

The speech was written by Claudia Teixeira under the direction of Professor Mike Long for the Masters Public Relations/Corporate Communication program at Georgetown University.

Welcome and greetings

Good morning!

I want to thank and congratulate Dean David Thomas, and Professors Ricardo and Maximo. It is a great initiative to discuss socially relevant business cases here in the Georgetown McDonough MBA program.

It’s always a pleasure to come back here to Georgetown. It seams like what is said here travels fast around the world. Maybe it’s because of this exciting and eclectic community, or maybe it’s also because of the excellent quality of the online webcast transmission.

You see, I had a dear girlfriend that was a student here at Georgetown. It was a long time ago, but I still have the dearest memories from this campus. I would usually find her reading under that cherry tree next to cemetery and we would talk for hours about our plans to rule the world.

Introducing the topic

Today, I’m here to talk about a social innovation initiative in Haiti.

First I will tell you how fashion designer Donna Karan took an interest for Haitian handicrafts when she visited Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Second we will look at how some nonprofit organizations helped the Haitian Handicraft sector gain access to international finance and markets.

Finally, I’ll show you the first successful results of this long-term program.

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The Livestrong Foundation Crisis Communication Plan

Case Study developed by Claudia Teixeira under the direction of Professor Fran Bernhards. Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations / Corporate Communication. Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.

Executive Summary

The Livestrong Foundation is a 16-year, highly accomplished American cancer charity organization that has served 2.5 million people and raised $500 million for the cancer fight. The foundation was created by world famous cyclist Lance Armstrong and was deeply united with its founder and spokesman. After Armstrong was condemned for doping, lying, and cheating, the foundation found itself on a mission to survive. The Livestrong Foundation implemented a crisis communication plan to disassociate its image from the image of its founder and reposition its brand on the people and the cause it serves. The full results of the crisis management plan are yet to be evaluated because the foundation is still living this crisis, however it has been able to keep most of its corporate partners and is going to serve more people than ever in 2013.

Keywords: Livestrong Foundation, Nonprofit Organization, Lance Armstrong, Cancer Fight, Crisis Communication Plan 

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Social Innovation in Charity Thinking

This fictional speech was to be delivered by a consultant for Advertising for Humanity to the students of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore, MD.

The speech was written by Claudia Teixeira under the direction of Professor Mike Long for the Masters in Public Relations/Corporate Communication program at Georgetown University.

Welcome and greetings

Good morning!

I want to thank professors Mark and Olivia for the invitation to be here.

It’s such a pleasure to be with you today in Baltimore, in this solar campus, with this great view to the bay. This is really inspiring.

I’m also glad I got here early for the breakfast. I had never tried a Berger cookie before. It is so delicious. You are lucky you can eat those whenever you want.

Introducing the topic

Today, I want to show you a different perspective to look at the nonprofit sector.

First, I want to show you that the nonprofit sector is too small to have a chance at solving the world’s massive social problems.

Second, I will talk about misconceptions that we all have, in five important areas that keep nonprofits from growing. These five areas are: compensation, risk-taking, long-term vision, advertising, and capital investment.

And third, I want to say that we should evaluate nonprofit organizations by their achievements and not by their overhead costs.

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Cooper University Hospital Announces Creation of Health-Records System

Fictional Press Release developed by Claudia Teixeira under the direction of Professor Mike Long for the Masters in Public Relations / Corporate Communications program at Georgetown University.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  Contact: Claudia Teixeira

September, 22 2009                                                                                                              Phone: 240-888-045 

 Cooper University Hospital Announces Creation of Health-Records Exchange System

The exchange system will allow for faster, cheaper and more accurate patient treatment

CAMDEN, N.J. – Today, Cooper University Hospital announces in a press conference the creation of a health-records exchange information system to be shared with most health care providers in Camden.

The health information system will solve many problems and allow for faster, cheaper and more accurate patient treatment. Doctor’s will have instant access to previous treatments and exams in the patient’s medical history and then treat the existing symptoms.

“In order to provide the best possible care, every physician at every health system wants as much information as possible,” said Anthony Mazzarelli, medical director of the emergency department at Cooper University Hospital. “If you are taking care of a patient who has a complicated health situation and you can’t get that data, you are flying blind.”

The system is being built due to a valuable collaboration of Cooper University Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Virtua Health and most primary-care providers. The health data will be collected and made available through Noteworthy Medical Systems of Cleveland. About 200 doctors and caregivers will be able to access the data, but first, patients must give their consent to the release of the information.

Funding for the exchange, which is going to be the first in the state, is coming from hospitals, foundation, and the government.

The system, called Camden Health Information Exchange, will start being built immediately and is expected to be available this winter.

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Op-ed – The Next Big Thing

Op-ed developed by Claudia Teixeira under the direction of Professor Mike Long for the Master in Public Relations / Corporate Communications program at Georgetown University.

Last week the world witnessed the flashy introduction of yet another great smartphone, the Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which promises to be the next big thing in technology. Mobile gadgets have been driving technology sales for some time, and companies strive to create state of the art devices, with multiple functions to become the object of desire of customers. However, breakthroughs in the technology industry many times come from where no one is looking, and it might just be that the next big thing will not be a new cool gadget at all, but the absence of it.

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