Persuasion – Book Review

By: Robert Cialdini

The Front-Loading of Attention:

Understanding moments when individuals are most receptive to messages is crucial. Confirmations play a role in decision-making, and channeling attention strategically can enhance persuasion. The human tendency to assign importance to focused elements impacts decision-making. The use of selective information and attention-grabbing stimuli influences persuasion. Holding attention, leveraging the next-in-line effect, and creating closure contribute to effective pre-suasion.

Processes: The Role of Association:

Associations are fundamental to the brain’s operations. Language, metaphors, and associations with the self strongly influence perception and decision-making. Positive associations with ease and the physical environment shape responses. Tailoring information to individuals, invoking positive memories, and altering internal self-persuasive geography contribute to effective pre-suasion. The key is strategically guiding preliminary attention to align with desired information.

Best Practices: The Optimization of Pre-Suasion:

Six concepts empower human social influence principles: reciprocation, liking, social proof, authority, scarcity, and consistency. Leveraging relationships and unity enhances persuasive efforts. Ethical considerations are paramount, and pre-suasion should align with honesty and integrity. The post-suasion phase is equally essential, recognizing that the moment before a choice holds significant pre-suasive power. Successful pre-suasion involves channeling attention strategically and considering both pre- and post-suasion elements.


Mastering the art of pre-suasion involves understanding the nuances of attention, association, and human psychology. From front-loading attention to leveraging social influence principles, the pre-suasion process requires a strategic approach. By incorporating ethical considerations and recognizing the power of the moment before a choice, communicators can optimize their persuasive efforts. The journey of pre-suasion is a dynamic interplay of psychology, language, and strategic influence, ultimately shaping decisions and actions.

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