Connect with Their Brains

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

A few days ago, Facebook told me about a good friend's newborn child.

The name was no one of the usual suspects. But I'd heard it before, somewhere. I immediately stood up from the table and went to the lowest corner of the bookshelves, where the remnants of my childhood books live. I found the volume and opened to a page of dialogue: the name of my friend's new son, right there.

I remember nothing, ever. My calendar reminds me to water plants and that important birthdays are coming. But I instantly knew that book held that name. My wife was shocked.

Just now I was reading page 60 of April's Fast Company. An interviewed designer notes his reference book is The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte. I looked over at the fascinatingly weird tome City, which Andrew gave me last year. City, by William H. Whyte. My brain made the connection before I could look up.

Brains are like that. When you random stimuli, your brain connects them before you can.

These impulse connections are useful for developing good messages.

Describe specifically. 'Remember that book about' wouldn't have triggered my brain, but the name Jansci did.

Tell experiences, not facts. A vivid story is more memorable, and if real, it's more likely to connect with someone else's experience-memory.

Think of your talk as a treasure map. If you litter the thing with layers of clues, your audience will find what they're looking for. Their brains could find the connections before they're even aware of it. Tap into this subconscious power.

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