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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Use Details to Connect

I don't connect well with generalities. Neither do you. When President Obama speaks, he doesn't share sweeping statistics as much as he singles out one person in a specific situation to make his point. Remember Joe the Plumber? He became a sensation during the 2008 election because he was "everyman" embodied.

If you want to speak with power and connect with people, then using specific details is important. This is another point that I gleaned from reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. It's the details that make the story stick with people. There's a difference between statistics and details, however. I could tell you about the 300 million people in the US, and give you percentages that believe a certain way or act a certain way. But what will make the idea connect with you is if I tell you about my uncle or friend who had a real experience. Cancer is a vague problem until I know someone in chemotherapy who's tired and bald. 

Put a face on your ideas to let your audience visualize what you have to say. 

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