Litotes for Making Ideas More Memorable

Intensifiers can slightly increase the effectiveness of your message, but understatement, for example using litotes, can make your ideas more memorable and boost the overall effectiveness of your point. Ancient and modern orators used understatement to show modesty and so to make their audience better disposed. But understatement can also […] Read more »

Intensifiers and Believability

What is the effect of intensifiers  – words such as clearly, very, obviously – on making ideas more believable? The research is not conclusive, but it appears that the effect of intensifiers depends on the context in which they are used. Some early empirical studies found that intensifiers do what they are […] Read more »

Decision-Fatigue and Strategic Timing in Influence

Ancient Greeks, the masters of rhetoric, claimed that there is a strategically perfect timing for everything. To show that they were taking this idea seriously, they even designated a separate god – Kairos – who represented the perfect moment. When Kairos was arriving, you could grasp him by the hair hanging over […] Read more »

Story Spoilers Don’t Spoil Storytelling

The usual storytelling advice is to keep your story in suspense: the twist of your story should come at the end. One recent study published in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science suggests that this common belief may be wrong: story spoilers don’t spoil the storytelling. Instead, knowing how the […] Read more »

The Power of Clarity

Clarity and Social Advocacy Clarity is especially important if you want to move people to action. If the spread of social innovations depends on particular people or groups taking certain actions, the clarity of your message may be the hinge factor. In social advocacy, likewise, clarity of your message may easily […] Read more »

The Art of Plain Talk

That which is easy to understand is usually more persuasive. Also, vividness can boost your persuasion if you follow the three rules. If you want your language to be vivid and easy to understand, consider embracing the art of plain talk and imitating the Chinese language. Rudolf Flesch, the Art of Plain […] Read more »