Persuasiveness by Saying it “Visually”


Ok, I usually try to be original here, but in this case, this is a Monday Morning Memo from my friend Roy Williams (Wizard of Ads) that I have to share…

Want the secret of emphasis, persuasion, and impact — whether it’s to
customers, managers, peers, employees, the waiter, whoever…? Here it

Getting What You Want

One of
these days I’m going to calculate the odds of pulling away from a drive-thru
window and actually finding what was ordered in the bag.

For 3 years I’ve
been calculating the odds of getting extra lemon for your tea when you add the
phrase "lots of lemon, please" in America’s better restaurants. Currently, this
request will get you some small quantity of extra lemon 47.4 percent of the
time; usually a single, sad slice alongside the sliver you were going to get

If you really want "lots of lemon," you must raise the impact
quotient of your message;
paint a bigger picture in the mind. Smile and say,
"I’d like iced tea with so many lemons that they slide off the table onto the
floor. I’m talking about this restaurant being knee-deep in lemons when I leave,
so many lemons that it takes two men and a little boy to carry them all. Will
you do that for me?"

Do I get lots of lemon when I say this? Yes. Do I
enjoy doing it? No. Do I think it’s witty, cute, clever, funny? No.

I do
it because I want the lemons.

What do you want? And how have you
been asking for it?

Do you typically assume that people are paying
attention when you speak? E. M. Cioran said, "If we could see ourselves as
others see us, we would vanish on the spot." I fear he was probably

The key to being understood is to raise the impact quotient of
your message.

Have you figured out yet that we’re talking about
advertising? And sermons? And classroom lectures? And effective web copy? And
blockbuster screenplays? And Pulitzer prize winning journalism?

higher the impact quotient of your message, the less repetition is required to
enter into declarative memory. The higher the impact quotient, the bigger the
painted on the visuospatial sketchpad of working memory in the
dorsolateral prefrontal association area of the brain.

Wizard Academy is
a school of the communication arts. We study all the languages of the mind,
including shape, color, position, ratio, pitch, key, tempo, contour, musical
interval, rhythm and architecture. But words have been the highest form of
communication since Genesis chapter one, when God spoke a universe into
existence and then created us in his image.

Learn to harness the power of
words. Can you name anything else that will make as big a difference in your

Roy H. Williams

2 Responses

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