With the upcoming vote for the ‘Stability’ treaty, a war on words has started in our streets, each side emphasizing its message with single poster format. Why are the words they chose so important? Why the right word is so important for the right message?
You see we code our experiences in our brain with internal representation, and words are only an extra medium to share this information with others, but a very powerful medium. A word will actually trigger a specific image (or internal representation) in our mind as we read it. ‘Stability’ is then a great choice. The same applies with ‘Austerity’, we read that, we suddenly have a grim image in our head… ‘For a working Ireland’ is another good choice, we read that, if we have a job we feel secure, if we have none, we see ourselves with one. On the other hand ‘Bad Bank Debt’ is not really well chosen, it echoes a fact we are all aware of, but does not really create an image linked to our experiences, therefore we need to think logically to see how that impact us… this is too slow, and does not engage our unconscious mind response. Of course, if you are working in a bank and your job is at risk, you will have a much immediate reaction to that line.
Now you know the trick… the secret of effective communication is to create an immediate image at the reader or listener, an immediate image that will influence their decision. A war on words as a war on images… And of course… keep that in mind when you read advertisements… the same applies!