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The Repeat: To Persuade, Say It Again

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I’ll say it again —it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! (Matthew 19:23-24, NLT)

A Word For Writers

The Repeat: a #devotional for writers based on Matt 19:23-24 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #PersuasiveWriting

If you want to persuade readers, then repeat yourself.

So concludes a study conducted at Germany’s University of Göttingen. One hundred students were paired with 100 specially-trained partners to interview potential job candidates. After the interviews, the trained partners repeated four pieces of information supporting the candidate opposite the student’s choice.

Repetition made a difference. 70% of the students revised their initial pick.

Repetition is persuasive. When you repeat an idea, you emphasize its importance. Plus, you can repeat a concept using different language or a different voice, which gives your idea credibility. 

Isn’t that what God does in scripture? He repeats information that causes us to pay attention. Think of the Feeding of the 5000 (repeated in all four gospels), creation (repeated in Genesis 1:1-2:4 and Genesis 2:4 – 2:25), and The 10 Commandments (repeated in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5).

Even Jesus repeated Himself.

In one instance, He wanted to make sure that listeners understood that money can be a stumbling block in our relationship with God. “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” He said (Matthew 19:23-23), using direct teaching.

And then He used the metaphor of a camel passing through the eye of a needle to repeat His point, starting with, “I’ll say it again …” 

Repeat yourself. Use different words or devices to convey your point and you'll be more persuasive.

A Wise Word

If you want to persuade, then repeat yourself.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

All of your Word is valuable and important. Yet you emphasize certain information by repeating it so I will ay attention. Help me use repetition creatively to persuade my readers.

In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

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