When you’re trying to figure out how to craft your message for all of the different people you want it to reach, you can end up addressing the question you want to answer, rather than the question your audience needs to have answered. The good news is that there are three universal questions that everyone needs an answer to before they will change their behavior or their action: Why?, What now?, and How?
The even better news? Depending on which question is most important to your audience, it can help you determine which type of message you need to prepare.
So you’ve done a lot of great work on your Red Thread and you think you have a great talk mapped out, but there’s one problem: you need to figure out how to start. This week on Find the Red Thread we take a look at the three ways that comedians and other successful presenters do openings.
No matter how you go about it, the first step is the Goal, and you have a lot of different options for how to get people there. By changing up how you introduce your Red Thread you can make a talk or presentation that hooks them from the start.
Even if you’re not in Sales, the fact is you still have to sell all the time. A lot of the time we don’t know what to say when we’re on a sales call because it feels uncomfortable, or like we’re pushing ourselves onto somebody else.
However, when you understand how people make decisions, what you say in a sales call becomes very simple. It's even simpler when you realize that how people make decisions follows the same path as the Red Thread.
Our brains are wired to try to make meaning— scientists call it the “make-sense mandate.” When researchers gave people three random sentences they would always try to string them together into some type of story.
The pieces of the Red Thread can help because they help you put your message in those terms— a problem that gets in the way of a goal, an idea that reveals a new opportunity, and a change that results. Our brains are hungry for story, so take advantage of that to make your message more engaging.
The most powerful messages are heard at both the fast and slow levels. We need to appeal to the emotional, irrational part of our brains by following story structure and using the Red Thread. At the same time, we also need to make sure that our message makes intellectual sense, that each step has been thought through and stands on its own.
The next time you’re putting together a message or presentation, ask yourself: am I finding a balance between fast and slow thinking? If you can get it right, you can craft a message that resonates.