Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Satire Series #1: Three Secrets to Persuading with Power!!!

Ever walk timidly into a boardroom of fidgeting account people, unsold brief in hand, wondering if there was an easier way? Ever stare down your unabashedly brazen creative team, insights freshly swatted away, wishing there was a better away at it? Ever present a brilliant work of strategy to a consistently clueless client, hoping for a miracle?

Well, step right up, because today just happens to be your lucky day! Below, I present my Three Secrets to Persuading with Power!!! - truly the secret to success when performing in the boardroom. After applying the knowledge below, you'll be amazed at how fast their heads will nod at each and every spectacular point you make! It's like magic...

SECRET #1: Appearance is Everything
The sad truth: content is meaningless, appearance is everything. Your points are only as good as the sweeet-lookin' Powerpoint slides they're wrapped in. Thinking about scrawling your breakthrough ideas with barely legible handwriting on a tattered old flip chart? Forget about it. Itching to plow through a plain-jain Powerpoint presentation, pie charts and all? Their eyes are glazing over already... But when the wrapping is shiny, art directed, and presented like a work of art, you've already won half the battle. Something that looks that good can't possibly be wrong, can it?
  • The fonts you choose are sacred - they're just as important as the words you choose, if not more
  • High-resolution images are like crack. Clip art is a no no.
  • Use metaphors to illustrate everything. EVERYTHING.
  • Even Word documents can look snazzy!
  • Make sure to start every meeting with "Regardless of what you think of my points, I hope you'll agree that this is a fantastic-looking document!"

SECRET #2: Conviction is the Key

Another sad truth: even if everything you say is exactly right, you'll still be wrong. Face it, no one really believes the facts. You might not even be so sure about them yourself. And so, you need to make your audience believe them. You need to deliver your points as if you're the Martin Luther King of advertising - completely and utterly convinced of the inarguable and unchallengeable sanctity of your points. You need to deliver them as if the fate of the world rests on it, so that anyone who's failed to be convinced in any way shape or form is pretty much allowing the planet to fall into ruin. Anyone who's THAT convinced can't possibly be wrong, can they?
  • Every point you make must be preceded by "Okay, this next point in PURE GENIUS..."
  • Words like "groundbreaking", "game-changing", and "unprecedented" are encouraged
  • Everyone who agrees with you must be referred to as a "pioneer"
  • Frequently remark that you'd kill somebody if what you're saying isn't right
  • Make sure to start every meeting with "What I'm about to tell you is the greatest thing since sliced bread"

SECRET #3: Every Point is Someone Else's

Ahh, the final secret, and my own personal favourite. Let's face it, in the end, no one really wants to agree with what someone else is telling them. That would be cowardly. What they really want is to hear the sound of their own voice - preferably telling them the right way to go. With that in mind, every time you make a point, you must channel someone in your audience, and miraculously, your point becomes theirs! That's right, the entire meeting will end up being a recap of what everyone in the audience has already said. Or not said. They can't possibly disagree with the points if they were the ones who made them, can they?
  • Every sentence must begin with "To your point..."
  • Frequently, you should strive to magically "Bring back something you said earlier..."
  • Energetically support anything anyone in your audience says with "YES!!!"
  • Be sure to throw out a "I think your point was bang-on", even if one wasn't made
  • Make sure to end every meeting with "You've made a great argument and won me over. Let's do it!"

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