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Chantal’s Influence Tips 64: How to make your Ideas Stick! Part Three – Flights and warm cars


The second of the 6 SUCCES strategies to make your ideas stick in the mind of your audience is UNEXPECTEDNESS.

Here’s a nice example that I experienced last week when I was on a flight. As the standard emergency procedures began, I heard the voice of a little girl talking very loudly. As I looked around, I realised it was coming
from the screen. The safety procedures on screen were being presented by a little girl. She couldn’t have been more than 6 years old!
I looked around and everyone was watching. It was hard not to. She was so cute and she delivered the instructions with a confidence that defied her years.
Airlines know that a large percentage of people switch off when the safety instructions begin. To counter this, they came up with a way to interrupt that habit, get people’s attention and keep them engaged.
And how about the department store, where on a cold wintry day, the staff offer to warm your car up while you’re finishing your shopping. Their core idea was ‘we delight customers‘.  They did that in the most unexpected and delightful ways!
Here are 2 tips for using the Unexpected principle.
A) Interrupt people’s patterns 
In a world of information overload and habitual thinking, the challenge is to get people’s attention and keep it. To achieve this, surprise them
and wake them out of their ‘seen this/heard this before’ stupor.
Ask yourself:
-What will they be expecting to see/hear/experience?  And how can you turn that on it’s head?
-What would surprise them?
(this could be an experience, a particular approach or a piece of information.)
-How can you approach it from a different angle?
B) Create curiosity
Suspense and intrigue is the best way to hook people in. Great movies and stories are built around this principle because human beings love completion and closure. That’s why people will continue to watch a bad movie – just to find out what happens in the end.
Comedians also do this when they start telling you a story and then before ending it, they begin a new one!
Another way you can generate curiosity is to pose a cryptic question or identify an important gap in people’s knowledge early on. The promise of  getting ‘the answer’ will keep them wanting more.


Next time we’ll explore Concreteness.
Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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