What do a US President and an animal researcher have in common? At face value, very little. But both recently used the same technique to hook people into listening to their otherwise tough message, in the first example, and dry message in the second, a technique that you can use in your B2B business as well. What did they do?
They both used right brain appeal to engage listeners to lead in to their left brain information.
President Obama's State of the Union
With his ratings at an all-time low and many factions in the country critical of his performance and judgment, the President did not open his talk with a string of data points. Instead, he began with a series of verbal images of a cross-section of Americans to hook us emotionally (right brain appeal) into his key point: that it is the citizens of America “who make our union strong.” Only then, did he turn to facts (for his listeners’ left brain to digest).
Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades. An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.
An auto worker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil. A farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history. A rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. A man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone-tired but dreaming big dreams for his son.
And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.
Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.
[With the public feeling warm and relaxed “seeing” each of these images and the implied upbeat backstory behind each one, Obama then launched into his report card on the country.]
Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years. A rebounding housing market. [Etc.]
Nick Perony, Animal Behavior Researcher
Ted.com posted Nick Perony’s talk today online about complexity as it can be observed in animals, specifically bats and meerkats. BUT, that was not the title. The title is “Puppies! Now that I’ve Got Your Attention: Complexity Theory”
How could you not smile at that! “Puppies!” with all their cute right brain images and associations, is a grabber. “Complexity” with all its promise of, well, complexity, not so much. However, put them together and enough curiosity is aroused to make you want to listen to Nick’s talk. [And it was interesting. The Link is at the end of this article.]
Start “Right” in Your Presentations
Try this technique in your next presentation. Begin with one or a series of short captivating verbal images: successful customer stories or an evocative word or phrase that is sure to delight. Then use that right brain opening to lead into your main point, e.g., that it was your company that made these successes possible and that you can do the same for them.
That opening will definitely have them wanting to hear more…
- Fun, informative radio interview with sales strategist Deb Calvert."Metaphorically Speaking" More ideas to sell, persuade & engage with clients.
- It's the silver anniversary of "How to Work a Room" by my pal Susan RoAne - still the best book on networking out there! Get your copy today!
- It's the debut of a new book by sales onboarding expert Lee Salz. Check it out: Hire Right, Hire Profits
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