Have you ever watched a really good speaker in action? A good preacher perhaps. An outstanding teacher. An engaging politician – if such an animal exists. A silver-tongued salesman demonstrating a new gadget in a hardware store. Whoever.
Then you will have noticed an audience reaction – and you are part of that audience – that is common to all of them. It’s a kind of subconscious agreeing. It could be a nod. Imperceptible possibly. But a sign nevertheless. It could be a smile which signals your agreement to what the speaker is saying. It may even be a question where, even if the answer is negative, it remains a nod. Message received and understood.
I call it the Nod Factor.
Added to all your communications, in whatever medium you choose, the Nod Factor can help you grow your business, sell your ideas and win arguments in a way you never dreamed possible.
The formula is very simple. The more Nods you can engineer through what you are saying, the more likely you are to achieve whatever it is you set out to do.
In other words, the more subconscious agreements you can get from your audience, the more likely your communication is to succeed.
Let me give you an example. When, after years of a conservative Liberal government, Labour scored a resounding victory, the entire communication revolved around a single thought. “It’s Time”. A massive Nod indeed.
Is that black magic? Or just good old common sense?
You nodded. Read on.
But first things first. To whom is your message directed? That dictates everything you will be doing.
Are they young? Old? Middle-aged? Male? Female? Potential buyers of whatever it is you are trying to sell? It could be as tangible as a new can opener. Or as ephemeral as a theory on global warming.
The more you know about the people you are trying to reach, the more like you are to get them nodding.
Your common sense, the mere fact that you live on the same planet, will tell you plenty. But don’t stop there. If you are lucky, there may be research available. If not, you could do some yourself. Do it any way. Visit the factory. Stroll around your local supermarket and quietly observe your fellow humans.
Catch a bus. Travel by train. Look and listen.
Talk to people. Your wife. Your friends. Your children. Perfect strangers. The butcher. The chemist.
Pretend that you are the potential consumer. What would move you to nod? Is it price? Is it new or something you haven’t seen before? Does it perform better than similar products already on the market? Is it something you want?
A word of warning. Be cynical. Very cynical. Don’t take everything you are told as gospel. Find out for yourself. Remember, if you are not entirely truthful, nods can quickly turn into shakes.
Finally, do not confuse a nod with impact. It’s subtle. You can get impact by showing a naked lady in your communication. But unless she is relevant to what your trying to communicate, like a nudist camp or a cure for cellulite, it’s just wasted effort. Not to mention wasted money.
Did I detect a nod?