Fight or Flight

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“Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.”

Ambrose Bierce, 19th century author from the book Neuromarketing.

Chances are you’re speaking to the wrong person.

It’s tempting to appeal to the intellectual side of your audience when promoting your work. Unfortunately, this approach leads to frustration more often than success. Why is this the case? The more sophisticated parts of our brain, those elements we see as uniquely human, are great at processing incoming information, however,  they are not driving the bus when it comes to making a final decision. That responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of our reptilian brain.

Accounting for this simple fact will improve your marketing efforts immensely. Here are just a few quick tips to consider when speaking to your audience on a base level.

Me, Me, Me!

Be sure 100% of your message is for your audience. On your website and in your presentations, minimize the chatter about you. Your audience needs to hear very clearly what’s in it for them. They don’t need or want your mission statement, history, or values. Intellectually and emotionally they may want to know more about you, however, when we start talking about capturing attention and making decisions it always comes down to what’s in it for me!

Create Contrast

When we begin to think about our strategy for marketing our business we try to be sophisticated, unique, and innovative. What we truly need, however, is to make things crystal clear for potential clients. We need to make it easy for people to see value. This is why neutral statements and overly sophisticated ideas are disastrous. People are continually scanning for things that are familiar to them. Be direct and painfully clear in your messaging! Avoid statements that require people to think or interpret such as holistic approach or flexible solution.

Use Visuals

We are all hardwired to make decisions based on visual input. Whenever possible, use visual stimuli to connect with your audience.Don’t get trapped in trying to overly communicate your message. It will get ignored.





  1. Thomas Burke Heath  June 12, 2012

    Good stuff David… Especially the reminder to focus on the audience!

  2. Terry Lord  June 12, 2012

    David, You are so right. I have spoken often before audiences and I lose them within 2 minutes when I get too ‘intellectual’. Keep it simple. Your goal is to communicate; not pontificate.

  3. Nancy Rhine, MS, LMFT  June 12, 2012

    Yup, I agree. Too much talk about our mission, our values, our history, our style. Probably all could be replaced with 5 minutes with the person to see if they sense they can like and trust you. Thanks for the well-said reminder! – Nancy

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