Where to feature the good (and bury the bad) in spoken messages
In a previous newsletter, we looked at the best way to downplay negative aspects of your written message: hide them in plain sight at the beginning of a sentence.
Surprisingly, the opposite applies to spoken messages. You want to lead with your strong points and bury your negatives at the end.
That’s because spoken messages are subject to the primacy effect. After hearing and absorbing the first points, your brain tends to shut down and pay less attention to subsequent details.
You can see the effect for yourself in this clip from National Geographic’s BRAIN GAMES. Identical twins apply for the same job. The only difference is the order in which they state their strengths and weaknesses.
A big thanks to Sharon Barnett for bringing this clip to my attention.
Just for Fun
Click here for a collection of business clichés, taken to their surreal extreme.
In a Word
Why leave room for doubt
Websites and presentations often have a section entitled “Why [our product]?” The idea is to offer a persuasive list of reasons to buy.
But why follow the headline with a doubt-inducing question mark?
Simply omitting the question mark changes a timid statement (“Why should you trust us?”) into a confident one: “Why you should trust us.”
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When your message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.