Message Doctor: How to convince people to support great ideas

Ok. Vagina. There, I’ve said it. It made me feel awkward, but it needed to be said to outline an example of one doctor’s attempt to convince surgeons to change their behaviour. A few years ago, I worked with Dr Marcus Carey, a Melbourne-based uro-gynaecologist to help him ‘sell’ his great ideas. He had developed a groundbreaking medical procedure More…

Ashton Kutcher speech uses Steve Jobs’ Structure

I love writing about Steve Jobs and his incredible communication skills. And this Ashton Kutcher speech let’s me do it again. For example, How Steve Jobs’ messaging changed the world, Steve Jobs top 5 leadership messages and particularly the speech outline of his famous Stanford graduation speech. Jobs’ ability to leverage message and structure helped Apple More…

Create a Persuasive Message in 2 steps

We all need to be persuasive. We need a vivid message to convey the true value of our idea or it will be lost to the world. I coached a scientist who’s pitch for funding wasn’t getting anywhere. His newly developed technology was groundbreaking. He was a likeable and energetic presenter, but explained his technology More…

Quick tip: Use memory hooks

Think of the listener’s mind as a smooth marble ball. When you speak, most ideas slide off. Your audience may be ‘aware’ of what you are saying, but the information is not sticking. Solution: personalise your examples by connecting with something already in the mind. This will act like a hook for your ideas. Memory hooks More…

Distorted message: “It’s not about winning”

There is a big difference between a distorted message and true message. I recently went to a school sports day for 6 to 10 year olds. The teacher introducing the event made a short speech and finished with the message ‘It’s not about winning, it’s about having fun’. Unfortunately it’s a lie. It’s just not accurate. Every kid More…

Can you translate information to a vivid message? (if not, the sharks will die)

Great communicators can translate information into vivid messages. They have the skills to assess a situation and translate the information in ways that a particular audience can relate to.   Technical presentation example While on holidays a few years ago I met a man who made his fortune with a company that builds aquariums. $20 More…

A wicked message: how to make sure your message gets results (part 2)

In the last post, we defined the difference between a wicked message (which requires more mental effort on the part of the listener) and a tame message (which is clear and easy to follow). To get a response, you need a tame message. So here’s how to do it. How do you make your message More…

Wicked messages: getting people to take action (part 1)

A few years ago, a Systems Engineer at USC Berkeley wanted to understand how we could put a man on the moon, yet couldn’t do things that seemed straightforward – like designing buildings that functioned properly, agreeing on where to build freeways, etc. He identified that some problems were wicked, while other problems were tame. This concept More…

Conversational clarity: a flexible way of selling

One-way sales methods don’t work well. Gone are the days when a salesperson would force the prospect down a rigid, one-way path. People want to make the buying decision in their own way – and we all have different buying patterns. There is no one way! Today, a salesperson needs to be flexible because the More…

Richard Branson: Master of the Vivid Message

Last week my wife attended a party hosted by Richard Branson. He is a genius at getting the media to come to him so he can deliver messages about his business. In this case, the party was to launch new flights between Australia and South Africa. And Sir Richard doesn’t disappoint the media. By taking More…