I got an interesting message from my friend Eric the other night. He recalls that I once told him that "you can't beat emotion with logic." At the time, when he didn't understand what I meant, I explained that “if your girlfriend is crying and says you don't love her, you can't rhyme off a list off facts that prove you love her to “win” that argument”.
This is not a new problem for any communications professional, regardless of media channel, it’s a perennial training issue. How do you cross the casm between emotion and logic successfully.
Here’s the bottom line on creating more compelling arguments, advertising or selling propositions. (Remember, you read it here first!)
Create a logical argument that can be emotionally delivered by a voice admired and respected by the audience. “I have a dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King is a classic example of how compelling a selling proposition constructed using this formula can be. It was, and remains, so provocative that it galvanizes and polarizes people to the point that some literally want to “shoot the messenger”. But the power and the spirit of the message, as well as the change in thinking and behavior that the message invited lives on and on and on.
As a general rule, if the audience is in an emotional state, start there. Establish an emotional beachhead and build a logical framework that enables you to lead them to your new promised brand-land. If the audience is in a logical state, then begin there. Use emotional arguments to give their hearts permission to believe that you know the way to a more fulfilling brand-land.
I’ll leave it at that for now.
If you need copy, design or strategic help with a project you’re working on – you know where I am.
A friend our ours just died of cancer.
He didn’t want a funeral because, while he behaved like and extrovert in the work-place, he was actually a pretty private guy and firmly believed that no-one would want to come to his wake or funeral. In hindsight he wasn’t “wrong” – he was humble and didn’t want any one to go out of their way for him – even in death. Pretty amazing.
In the months and then weeks leading up to his death, nothing his wife said could convince him to change his position on the matter.
Enter a false rumor – that he had passed away.
The phone rang off the hook until the report of his demise (and apparent resurrection), were corrected by him when he answered the phone. He realized that many, many people really did care.
The experience softened his opinion on the matter and convinced his wife how important both the wake and funeral would be for all his friends and family.
Given the right reason, most folks will change their point of view.
Good communication specialists find the little difference that can make all the difference and leverage it for all it’s worth.
I love this light map of the U.S. because it’s a great example of how meta-data can affect how you approach business and life. For example: there are lots of places to go if you love light and there are still lots of empty spaces to go if you love the dark. Maps like these are available for anything you can think of: soy-milk consumption, horse-hoof files – you name it. The data to create informative maps like these are there. When you lay a bunch of different maps on-top of each other, big data quickly becomes small and laser focused. For example: if you overlay snow-belt, low-population, Ford ½ ton truck drivers, conservative voters and HHI +$60M, you'll have a detailed map showing you where to focus your "Proudly Made In America" Snow Plow Attachments".
Data like this can really help your team rank opportunity quickly.
Your Focus may not be popular. Success is a different equation for everyone. So don’t be surprised if others don’t get it. If you’re chosen path is important to you – find folks who are on the same path you’re on – be it kite-boarding, mergers + acquisitions, or karaoke.
Clear focus will not lead to instant success. Life is a process, not an event. Maintain reasonable expectations. Rome, and the community you live in, wasn’t built in a day.
Your focus is not a tangible thing that you can show others. It’s a bit like gravity or magnetism; you can’t see it but you can see it’s effect on you and others. Concentrate on the benefits received from focus; the joy that come from traveling towards your goal and the waypoints that demonstrate progress.
Your focus comes with a price. Success requires many things, sacrifice is one of them. Be prepared do what you have to do to achieve your goals.
Your focus will change over time because unpredictable events will affect your plan. Think BREXIT.
Because I’m big on focus as the key to your success, here are some thoughts on the subject.
Your focus needs to be clear + simple. What you are aiming for should be obvious to you. Ambiguity has no place in your vision of success.
Your focus needs to be memorable. Your mind should be stimulated by the smallest of coincidences, even if you are not thinking about your goals at the time.
Your focus needs to be powerful and power comes from clarity. The clearer you are about what you want, the more personal power you develop and the more aligned you are. The more aligned you are the less likely you are to lose sign of your goal.
Your focus needs a compass with positive and negative polarities to help keep moving toward your goal(s).
Your focus needs some short term way-points. These can help confirm the viability of your plan and vision.
Understand the consequences and the impact of the short-term focus and take these into account as you make + modify your long term decisions.