How to Pull Others to You or Your Business, Emmy-winner Suggests

In attention, quotability on November 20, 2008 at 9:48 pm

When asked the secret to writing suspenseful books, Stephen King cited Elmore Leonard, “he just left out the boring parts.” Whether you are writing or talking – pull people in with a hook.

Example: Experience orchestrator, Steve Neiderhauser, recounts this advice from James Bonnet, “’Look at story through the eyes of the problem.’” In Jaws, the movie doesn’t spend ten minutes showing the shark swimming alone the Maine coastline chasing sea lions or splashing about. No, the movie gets to the problem – a shark chomping on humans.”

For your hook, think of a…
• Startling detail
• Problem that affects them
• Opportunity that they could capture
• Contrasting options such as an impending worst case/best case scenario
• Question that enables them to feel good (helpful, smart, appreciated, understood…)

Also create your captivating opening “hook” or scene if you manage a store, event or other consumer-serving experience. In fact, storyboard their time, from the first sight to the last smell as they leave. That way you can reduce the boring or irritating moments and multiply the positive – especially those where they gain bragging rights and leap at the chance to tell others.


This Year’s Most Irritating Phrases

In language on November 20, 2008 at 8:46 pm

For the ten most irritating phrases we turn to Oxford University’s massive language database that tracks useage, with Damp Squid author, Jeremy Butterfield as our guide. In “the great hierarchy of verbal fatigue” they are:
1. At the end of the day
2. Fairly unique
3. I personally
4. At this moment in time
5. With all due respect
6. Absolutely
7. It’s a nightmare
8. Shouldn’t of
9. 24/7
10. It’s not rocket science

Butterfield notes, “We use language in chunks of words–as one linguist put it, ‘we know words by the company that they keep.’”

Now, the word of the year according to Countdown’s Susie Dent is credit crunch. I guess the English can turn a frequently-used phrase into a word. In her Words of the Year, Susie Dent also discusses newer words including boytox, moofer, ninja loans, funt, jingle mail, rickrolling, nomophobia and the inevitable googleability.

Can you make up a word that will appear in Dent’s book next year?