Artful Persuasion: How to Command Attention, Change Minds, and Influence People

By Harry Mills | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
8
Winning People's
Hearts

The Power of Metaphors,
Analogies, and Stories

VIVID LANGUAGE

Jaws

When Jaws (the film starring a man-eating shark) opened at cinemas across the United States, the number of swimmers visiting California beaches dropped dramatically. Sharks do inhabit the California coast, but the risk of a swimmer actually being attacked by a shark is much less than the risk of being killed in a car accident while driving there.1

People are often not influenced by the true facts of a situation; more often, they are influenced by what makes the most vivid impression on their mind.


A Lemon

To demonstrate how vivid words and images play in our mind, slowly read the following description of cutting a lemon:

Imagine you are in the kitchen. You pick up a large, fresh, succulent lemon from the fruit bowl. It is cool in your hand. The yellow dimpled skin feels smooth and waxy. It comes to a small, green, conical point at either end. The lemon is firm and quite heavy for its size as you look at it in the palm of your hand.

-105-

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