Imagine you’re give a rousing speech. The crowd applauds. You have their attention. And then what?
Dr. Carmen Simon explains what happens next in Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions.
Soon you’re forgotten as the crowd moves on to the next speaker or event. Indeed, this is why media appearances are overrated. People see you on TV (and I’ve been on the biggest shows in the world) and then forget about you. It’s not what people see, it’s what people remember.
“People act on what they remember, not on what they forget.”
How can you be memorable?
Everyone is a content-machine. Being remembered matters even if you’re not giving speeches, it matters if you meet someone you’re attracted to. Will an attractive person who is hit on many times throughout the day remember you when you send that text asking for a date? What content are you creating in your day-to-day life?
The guiding principle of your content is to ask, “What do I want people to remember?” Recognize that if you’re going to make 20 points in a slide show, people will only remember between 5 and 9 of those slides (the Seven-Plus-or-Minus-Two principle), and that’s if they aren’t scrolling through Twitter, feeling self-pity, or fantasizing about something else.
Choose one or two points or take-aways, and emphasize those points. One of the many helpful charts Simon includes is, “Decide the Salient Point and Repeat it.”
Consider my own videos. What do you remember from them? Chances are not much, well you do remember one salient point. You remember my name – Cernovich.
“Aaaand we’re back, it’s Mike Cernovich of Cernovich dot com.”
This video by Soros-funded Media Matters was edited to make fun of me. I’ll admit, it was funny. But was it effective in discrediting me?
Simon’s work is supported by Dr. Robert Cialdini as well, who writes in Pre-Suasion:
“Even though cut-heavy TV commercials draw more total attention, they produce significantly less memory for the ad’s persuasive claims and significantly less persuasion. It’s easy to understand why: viewers attention isn’t fixated on the ad’s best points but is scattered all over the materials relevant and irrelevant points.”
(Notice the use of a block quote? How much of the above will you remember? Now focus on what’s highlighted.)
Impossible to Ignore gets meta.
“It’s not what you comprehend, it’s what you remember” is a line from Tony Buzan’s books that improved my life. A good student, I could understand challenging material, and yet I didn’t always remember it later. Buzan taught me the power of drilling, and I used this method to achieve high grades in competitive courses. (My exact method of studying in “blocks” is here.)
The end of each chapter contains a summary of the material. Why? Because you’re more likely to remember the content if you review it at the end.
In that regard, we get to Impossible to Ignore’s only weakness – It’s dense. It reads like a graduate school treatise. For someone like me who has done the background reading, Simon’s book is a joy to read and a valuable reference. (Simon’s book may be designed to draw in clients for her consulting practice, in which case Impossible to Ignore’s weakness is a strength.)
Impossible to Ignore is one of the most important books you’ll read if you are a lawyer, saleswoman, public speaker, or parent who wants to reinforce a message with your child.
For example my daughter has taken to pulling on our dog’s fur. Rather than tell her NO, DON’T, I frame it positively, and guide her hand to pet Julius gently. Simon explains:
“If your content is aimed at convincing people to change and existing habit, it’s important to remember that habits are formed by doing, not by not doing. Frame your message in a positive way. Imagine if the famous slogan, ‘Just do it’ was ‘Don’t procrastinate.’
That you should frame a message positively rather than negatively is also keep to NLP persuasion. “Don’t do that,” works far less effective than, “Do something else.”
Thus in Gorilla Mindset I teach you how to improve your inner monologue or self-talk through positive habits, namely Change the Conversation. Rather than NOT talk about something, CHANGE YOUR FOCUS to talk about something else.
Spend some time with Impossible to Ignore. It’s an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
P.S. I take 3 capsules of Gorilla Mind every morning to give myself more focus and better memory. You can pick up a bottle of Gorilla Mind here today.