Have you ever tried to reason with a reptile?
You do it every day. I’m doing it right now.
In his incredible book Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff explains the single biggest reason most sales presentations – or proactive communication efforts of any kind – fail miserably:
The speaker’s cerebral cortex is trying to use facts to convince the listener’s lizard brain to do something.
Every inbound message is first processed by this primitive, survival-oriented area of our brain which instantly evaluates any stimulus to determine which of these three things it represents:
- A meal
- A mating opportunity
- A threat to our existence
If you are none of these things it will ignore you and return to scanning the horizon.
Your worst play is to be boring or needful which classifies you as a threat, consuming cognitive cycles which could be used more productively elsewhere. You gotta’ go.
The best you can hope to do is present novelty, generate curiosity and desire with a short, interesting story filled with imagery.
An argument could be made that Albert Einstein is remembered as the greatest genius of the 20th century not because of the complexity of his theories but rather the simplicity of his explanations.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”