In 1588, British troops massed against a sea invasion from Spain at Tilbury were deeply concerned that their leader Queen Elizabeth I, as a woman, would not be up to the rigors of battle. In addressing the men, she dispelled their fears pre-suasively: first acknowledging the concern by admitting a weakness, which established her honesty for whatever she said next, and then following it with a strength that demolished the weakness. “I know,” she asserted, “I have the body of a weak and feeble woman. But, I have the heart of a king, and a king of England, too.” It’s reported that so long and loud were the cheers after this pronouncement that officers had to ride among the men ordering them to restrain themselves so the queen could continue.
A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.