The Planners Guide to Visual Thinking #6

27.06.2016

Written By: Nathalie Gil

Tags: , ,

A guide to the art of making creatives and clients ‘feel’ your insights.

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”
Bill Bernbach

Think of the last time someone communicated an insight that truly resonated with you. Where did you you experience that pleasurable ‘tickle’ in your brain? Maybe it came up by bouncing ideas around with someone smart and engaging. Or was it when listening to someone’s personal story? It could be that arresting picture in the magazine or a stunning video that suddenly hits the right note.

Wherever it was, it probably wasn’t hidden on an 85-page presentation at 5pm last Monday. And this certainly wouldn’t be any different for any creative or client.

Work pressures and time constraints tempt us to wrap strategic thinking into ‘good enough’ outputs. However, this shortcut may increasingly look more like a dead end. A written insight description, which for you may be loaded with incredible significance, may be empty words to someone else. Instead of only thinking about what is right for the task at hand, it’s important to also look at what’s right for the audience you’re selling to.

Your Clients may be thinking your elephant inside a boa constrictor is actually a hat.
Your clients may be thinking your elephant inside a boa constrictor is actually a hat.

Insights really hit us when they not only inform, but connect. When they invite the recipient to truly ‘feel’ it. It’s those insights, as we like to call, that have ‘soul’.

As a Visual Thinking company, BAMM is on a mission to deliver meaningful insights to our clients. Insights that trigger emotions, that invite action. Below are some tips and tools that may inspire you the next time you need to inject some soul to your insights:

1/ Create a welcoming atmosphere
If our audience is in the wrong frame of mind, your insight may be doomed. This is the raw truth: if the first impression is not good enough, they won’t be interested to know more about it. Think of presenting your insight as a blind date. Set up the right mood for the session, make your audience look forward to it. Find the right ambience, send out a teaser, open up the session with an impactful anecdote.

These tactics can put audiences in a frame of mind that psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines as ‘flow’: an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, when the person is fully immersed into the moment. The ego falls away, time flies. And hopefully their whole being will be connected to what you are about to say.

2/ Let stories do the talking
The anthropologist Gregory Bateson was once asked a question about how people knew they had made a computer that worked like a human brain. His reply was: “when the computer replies to a question with “Let me tell you a story.” It is in our nature to be moved by stories. There are two ways to share knowledge: you can push information out to people, or you can pull them in with a story. Stories give a face to your insight, they warm it up and make it personal. Think of the ways you can bring stories to illustrate your insight. They may come from previous research, or even from your own personal stories.

The story of a retired man and his idea of creating a home office to preserve his working lifestyle.
The story of a retired man and his idea of creating a home office to preserve his working lifestyle.

3/ If you can show, don’t tell
In our very first Planners Guide, we touched on the power that visuals have to tell stories. Carefully chosen images are a very powerful tool for your insight. They make it multidimensional and tangible, and transport people to where your insight lives in real life.

One good way to think of the right image is to map out where your insight lives, beyond the predictable. You can explain that in India, packages that are messy are not welcome at home. Or alternatively, you can present an image that exemplifies the Indian psyche of neat organisation and the desire for order.

An ordered corner corner of an Indian family's home personal hygiene products.
An ordered corner of an Indian family’s personal hygiene products.

4/ Share ownership of the insight
It is of our human nature that once you feel part of something, you are more emotionally attached to it and inclined to preserve it. Behavioural scientists calls this phenomenon an ‘endowment effect’. One way to bring your client into your insight is to let them own it as much as you do. Some ways to do this can be to reenact the journey of your strategy; ask them to give their thoughts along the way, thus preempting the insight. You can also develop an exercise where they are invited to write the insight in their own words, transferring their own emotions into it. Another tip is to invite them to share stories from their own background, to help them bring the insight to life, in a way they can empathise with.

Hopefully these tips may have helped you think of even more ideas of how to make your audience fall in love with your insights. If you need any help on this task, BAMM has a new solution called RAW INSIGHT, which is perfect to inject real stories and more ‘soul’ into your insights. Contact us if you want to hear more about BAMM and RAW.

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