Your are right, talking won't 'convince' someone to try, but sometimes it is just a misconception of what Aikido is about. I think especially for women, and perhaps even more so for wives/girlfriends of male Aikidoka...why?
I think a lot of guys get started for a variety of 'macho' (no offense meant) reasons, and come home singing praises of terrifying atemi, bone rattling breakfalls, pounding their uke...just watch me on the street, etc etc. Not the stuff that often appeals to women. And when you start to show your war wounds, they cannot imagine how this is fun.
I had no interest in martial arts, and in fact saw no point in them until I was introduced to Aikido...and the guy who sold me on it obviously used a different approach with me than the other 40 new students, all great big Army guys, who showed up for our first class. As we stood around talking, me wondering why these 240 pound monsters were wanting to do Aikido, they started talking about Steven Segal. 'Oh, no" I assured them, 'I've seen his movies, that CAN'T be Aikido', 'see, Aikido is this peaceful, gentle