The Power of Pre-Suasion

RSA Event


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Employment
  • Behaviour change
  • Arts and society


What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? The world’s foremost expert on influence reveals the results of three decades of research.

Thirty years in the making, Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-Suasion is the eagerly awaited follow-up to his bestselling, genre-defining Influence.

Cialdini’s latest research shows that the secret to persuasion doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered. He visits the RSA to show that the best persuaders spend more time crafting what they do and say before making a request. In this way, they gain a singular kind of persuasive traction by arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. Cialdini calls this pre-suasion. “To persuade optimally,” he says, “it’s necessary to pre-suade optimally.” In other words, to change minds most effectively, a pre-suader must change initial “states of mind.”


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