Gap the Mind with humor and curiosity

September 30, 2009

Two adds which use the same tool to grab our attention and to keep it till the end of the message.

Which add is more effective? More effective in getting the message across?

The first one ?

Or the other one?

In my mind the Pepsi is more effective. Both the adds use humor and curiosity. Curiosity is a powerfull tool in keeping our attention. It creates open loops in your mind. Open loops which you want to close.
The Pepsi add uses humor to reinforce the message and it closes the loop in your mind with an image that underlines the message.


SUCCESs starts with simplicity

September 21, 2009
6 days ago I made a presentation on simplicity in a contagious communication.

Much to my surprise it got watched 186 times in 6 days.

I got a couple of questions to add some concrete tools.

I made some adjustements and uploaded it again.

SUCCESs in contagious communication : Simplicity
View more presentations from jodha.

Make sandwiches very visual and create curiosity

September 16, 2009

niet-zonder-vorkThis is a picture I got from Richard.  Richard is at least a half day a week on the streets making pictures.  You can find every day a picture by him on his site.

You can’t eat our sandwiches without a fork.

What mental images do you get by reading this?  A huge plate with vegetables and other things?  It’s very hard not to imagine something when you read this sign.   At the same time it makes you as a reader curious.  It creates an open hole in your knowledge.   The good thing is that you can close that hole on the spot.  Our brain is wired to fill these holes.   Walk in and find out….

It combines concreteness, credibility and a bit of surprise.

Example from Life’s a Pitch

September 14, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I moved the the book Life’s a Pitch (Stephen Bayley & Roger Mavity) from my candidate booklist to my active booklist.Life's a Pitch

The book has great insights and great stories.

The next is story is from this book. It’s about Sir Gerry Robinson. He has been Chairman of the Arts Council and delivered a great pitch to Tony Blair.

His pitch is great because it simple, very concrete, emotional and credible.

The next is from the book p112

Gerry was choosen to run the Arts Council because the Blair Government thought the Council was badly and extravagantly managed, so they wanted a hard-headed businessman to get hold of it and cut the waste. But when Gerry studie dit, he quickly decided the arts needed more money not less. I asked him how he pitched this difficult case to the very people who had put him in place to recommend the opposite.

Gerry answered :

I had to point out that the problems weren’t just the inefficiencies, although there was some of that, but the arts were just ludicrously underfunded. Any civilized nation should fund the arts properly. I felt that it was a credible proposition for me to be saying that rather than someone from the arts world.
I just knew that the way to get the money was to point out that was needed, £200 million, was in real terms absolutely bugger all. I reminded them it was just about the cost of one F-11 jet.

Gerry used concreteness, surprise, emotion and credibility to be understood, remembered and to change behaviour.

The credibility didn’ t came from the message itself. It was Gerry who gave the credibility. If it had been somebody from the Arts Council and not a tough businessman the message would not have had credibility.
Gerry surprised Tony Blair. Blair expected to hear ideas for cuts inbudgets.
“Any civilized nation” is a great phrase for building identity. It creates emotion because who wants to be prime minister of a nation that is not that civil anymore.
Gerry used the concreteness for his audience. In order for Tony Blair to be able grasp the amount Gerry used an image from his world.

Busting the Mehrabian Myth

September 6, 2009

This urban legend is told by a lot of trainers and consultants. Mehrabian is a professor who is best known for his research on verbal and non-verbal communication. One of his findings is that tone of voice and body language are also important next to his words. In certain situations (communication about feelings and attitude), the influence of the communication is based on 7% words; 38% tone of voice and 55% body language.

This “7%-38%-55% Rule” has been overly interpreted in such a way, that some people claim that in any communication situation, the meaning of a message was being transported mostly by non-verbal cues, not by the meaning of words. And that’s not true. This is a nice example of an urban legend that is still being spread because some principles are very strong: simple (voice and body language are very important); unexpected (words count only for 7%) and credible (because the source is a professor).

Some people have already started a campaign to stop the Mehrabian myth. This movie explains it very well.

How to make speed signs more meaningful!

September 3, 2009

speedsignI got this picture from  Nicolae Halmaghi, who is so kind to give permission to use it.   We can learn a couple of things from this image.

How do you tell people what is in for them?  And how do you make that more tangible?The city Elm Grove made a nice effort to come up with a different approach.  They make it personal:   the chances of crash for the red car  are gone up with 30%.  I like it because it is going further than the other signs I have seen.    I think it can be inproved because 30% more chance is very hard to see.   How could you turn 30% more chance  into a visual image that is more esay to grasp?

How to use COMMON knowledge in a presentation

August 24, 2009

I’m a great admirer of Garr Reynolds.  You will like his approach on presentations. It’s fun, humorous, creative and above all effective.  You can always learn new tips and tricks from a presentation by Garr.  His presentation on Simplicity is a splendid example.

A key to make your presentation contagious is tailoring it to The Audience.  Garr is a Sensei in tailoring.

When you watch the video you will notice he tailored his presentation for the venue.  Most people in the venue should have seen the picture of Frank (Old blue eyes) in the main hall.   Garr makes the picture of Frank a part of the message. It underlines the key message : “Take out the superficial to make something simple”.

Another way Garr uses to tailor his message is taking images that ‘everybody in audience’ knows.  As this is a ‘geeky’ audience he uses images and characters from Star Wars.   These are concepts that his audience  knows.  Garr is linking common knowledge to the message he gives.   Associative linking makes it easier to reconstruct the message. So in this way you make it easy for your audience to succesfully retell your message.