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How High Is Your Persuasion IQ?

How High Is Your Persuasion IQ?

Assess Your Skills as a Persuader

To give you a chance to assess your persuasion abilities prior to reading the book, I've included a simplified version of the Persuasion IQ Test I use to assess my clients' persuasive abilities. I recommend you complete the test before you read the book. I then suggest you redo the test after reading the book.


  1. Never

  2. Seldom

  3. Sometimes

  4. Often

  5. Always

Assess your persuasion IQ by answering the following questions. Mark the option that best describes your performance. If your answer is "never," check Option 1. If your answer is "sometimes," check Option 3, and so on.

When you have answered all the questions, total your scores and turn to the "Interpreting Your Results" section to evaluate your performance.

1. I consciously establish my credentials or qualifications before I try to influence somebody.
2. When persuading, I offer proof of how people have been able to trust me or my organization in the past.
3. I consciously make a powerful impression in the first few minutes of any meeting.
4. I consciously use body language to influence others.
5. I constantly interpret other people's body talk
6. I use mirroring, pacing, and leading techniques to influence others
7. I monitor what other people say for signs of deception
8. I use a low pitch when I want my voice to project authority
9. I vary my vocal tempo and use pauses to create interest and impact
10. When speaking, I avoid using intensifiers, hedges, and qualifiers
11. I analyze the words and behavior of the people I want to influence in order to assess the type of information that will persuade them.
12. I analyze the words and behavior of the people I want to influence in order to assess the way they prefer to make decisions.
13. When I sell my ideas, I consciously speak in the language of benefits.
14. When I persuade, I consciously choose powerful attentiongrabbing words that have strong, positive, emotional appeals.
15. I use antithesis when I want to create a particularly powerful presentation
16. As I persuade, I consciously sell what makes my proposition or ideas unique.
17. I package my persuasive propositions to appeal to the other person's basic human needs
18. I use repetition in the words and phrases in my speeches to create added impact.
19. I use lots of metaphors, analogies, and stories in my presentations to highlight my key points.
20. I use humor where appropriate to increase involvement and commitment
21. I consciously limit the number of points I make in any presentation to no more than five.
22. Where appropriate, I organize my ideas in a presentation around a thematic structure.
23. In a presentation, I grab my audience's attention with a dynamic opening.
24. I finish my presentations with a dramatic climax and a call for action.
25. I support my arguments with highly credible, well-researched evidence.
26. I use novel, vivid case studies to create memorability.
27. With important messages, I keep repackaging my ideas and repeating them whenever possible.
28. I consciously use an argument strategy to refute competing ideas.
29. I refute competing ideas before they have a chance to gain a foothold.
30. I inoculate my supporters in advance against competing ideas.
31. When I cite statistics, I package them for clarity and memorability.
32. My audiovisual presentations never exceed 20 minutes in length.
33. My audiovisual presentations are built around one central message.
34. My visual aids follow the rule: one idea per visual.
35. My visual aids use more graphics than words.
36. I tailor the colors I use in my visual aids to my audience's biases.
37. I vary my choice of media according to the message I want to communicate.
38. I encourage lots of feedback in discussions to encourage self-persuasion.
39. I use questions rather than statements to shape discussions.
40. I deliberately use disturbing questions when I want to make the other person uncomfortable with the status quo.
41. Where appropriate, I use leading and rhetorical questions to influence a presentation or meeting.
42. I actively listen to people to reflect the content and feelings of what they've said.
43. I analyze my audience in advance to determine my persuasion strategy.
44. I alter my persuasion strategy and change my material and approach when persuading different audiences.
45. When there is a strong opposition to my proposals, I plan for gradual, step-by-step persuasion.
46. I consciously use a persuasion strategy that systematically promotes my strong points and downplays my weaknesses.
47. When I am negotiating or selling, I always ask for more than I expect to get.
48. When I am negotiating to buy, I offer less than I expect to pay.
49. I consciously grant people favours knowing they will feel obliged to reciprocate in kind later.
50. When I want someone to make a large order or commitment that I know will meet resistance, I start by asking for a much smaller order or commitment. I then build on this, asking for a much bigger order or commitment later.
51. When I want people to stand by their commitments, I try to get them to make their commitments publicly or on paper.
52. I consciously tap the power that comes from titles or positions of authority I hold.
53. I consciously dress to communicate authority, competence, and professionalism.
54. When I possess exclusive information, I sell its scarcity value to those I'm trying to influence.
55. When I promote something, I stress that what I'm selling is popular, standard practice, or part of a trend.
56. I consciously associate myself with products, people, or companies that the people I'm trying to influence admire or emulate.
57. I emphasise the similarities I share with the people I want to influence.
58. I consciously use my friends as a referral network to build business or influence.
59. I consciously praise and flatter others to increase my influence with them.
60. I take advantage of situations where the person I want to influence is under pressure to "unthinkingly" agree with my proposals.

Interpreting Your Results

The prime purpose of this assessment is to allow you to identify the areas you need to improve so you can refer to the relevant sections in this book to further refine your skills.


Exceptional: You are a persuasion marvel. If this was an intelligence test, you'd be a genius. If you're not in a successful career in sales, politics, diplomacy, law, or business, you should consider a career move. Watch out for complacency.






Superior: You are a talented persuader in many areas but lack the refinements displayed by exceptional persuaders.

Adequate: You know and practice many of the basics of persuasion. However, you can significantly decrease your number of missed opportunities by extending your skills and awareness.

Deficient: Your persuasion skills are weak. You struggle getting what you want. You are also likely to be vulnerable to exploitation by unethical persuaders. Life is full of missed opportunities.

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