The Greeks uses those persuasive tricks (schemes)

You are already familiar with many of the tricks:

  1. Analogy (my love is like a cherry)
  2. Oxymoron (pretty ugly)
  3. Rhetorical question (do I have to explain this one?)
  4. Hyperbole (the most amazingly great figure of all)
  5. Coyness (Dad gifts me a new iWatch … but I say “oh, you shouldn’t have”)
  6. Dialogue (teenagers are especially fond of this: Alice said what and then I sad what and then Charlie said what)
  7. Speak-round (“He Who Must Not Be Named”)

The secrets lie in figures of speech

Figures of speech - Making words presented differently by repetition, substitution, sound, and wordplay. Making words sound differently by skipping, swapping, etc.

  1. Repeated first word: use a lot of “and” to start the sentence while thinking what to say.

    1. e.g., And God said, let there be light: and there was light. 2., e.g. Political figures substitute “um” or “you know” with “and” when thinking what to say.
  2. Multiple yoking

    1. e.g., he gets it past two defenders, shoots … misses… shoots again… goal!
  3. Idiom

  4. Self-answering question

    1. e.g., “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
  5. Tropes: swapping

    1. Metaphor
    2. Irony
    3. Synecdoche: White House
    4. Metonymy

Twist a cliche

Win the intelligent audience by twisting the expression. For example, adding a surprising end. e.g.

  • Friend: it’s excellent book for killing time.
  • You: sure, if you like it better than dead.

The Yoda technique of switching

The mighty chiasmus, e.g.

  1. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
  2. Let’s not settle for swimming with the sharks. Let’s make the sharks want to swim with us.

Or even more, inserting a pun into a chiasmus. e.g.

  • a birthday card for a friend who turns 40. Front: “what kind of party suits bob’s birthday?” Back with a photo of naked two-year-old bob: “the kind where he wears his birthday suit.”

How Churchill Got Rhythm?

Dialysis: Either… or… e.g., George W Bush: you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.

Antithesis: Not… but… e.g., The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity.

Say yes and no at the same time

  • Edit yourself loud, which makes the narrative sound more fair and accurate. (Correction figure)
  • No-yes sentence. (Also dialysis)
    • e.g.
      • friend: he seems like a real straight shooter
      • you: straight, no. shooter, yes.
    • e.g.
      • lover: you seem a little put out with me this morning.
      • you: put out, no. furious, yes.

We are not unamused

  • litotes 緩叙法 *, e.g. OJ Simpson’s appearance at a horror comic book convention: I’m not doing this for my health.
  • climax *, e.g. A little neglect may breed great mischief…for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.

For fun: Invent new words

Inventing new words is dangerous in high school or a government agency. However, it is impactful so we would better use it wisely.

examples of inventing

  1. Verging. Turn a noun into a verb or vice versa. (e.g., Google it!)
  2. *-like figure. (e.g., God-like!)
  1. People make the mistake of focusing too much on the content of their argument and not enough on how they deliver that message. Certain buzzwords only work for certain executives.
  2. Finding the chief decision maker and then tailoring the arguments can vastly improve the chances of success.
  3. There are five decision-making categories…
    1. Charismatic: exuberant about a new idea initially but make decisions based on balanced information.
    2. Thinker: may be contradictory and need to be cautiously worked through.
    3. Skeptic: make decisions based on gut feeling.
    4. Follower: make decisions based on their trusted executives or their past similar decisions.
    5. Controller: focus on pure facts and analytics because of their fears and uncertainties.
Style Target Characteristics Pursuader’s Strategy
Charismatic easily enthralled but make decisions based on balanced info
Emphasize bottom-line results
Focus on results
be straight-forward
benefits w/ visual aids
keyword: proven, actions, easy, clear
Thinker (Xing Wang) toughest to persuade
needs extensive detail
presents market research, surveys, cost/benefit analysis.
keyword: quality, numbers, expert, proof
Skeptic challenge everything and make decisions based on gut feelings establish credibility with endorsements from someone they trust.
keyword: grasp, power, suspect, trust.
Follower rely on past decisions
late adopter
Use testimonials to prove low risks.
present innovative but proven solutions.
keyword: expertise, similar to, innovate, previous.
Controller unemotional, analytical
only implements own ideas
present highly structured arguments
make listener own the idea.
avoid aggressive advocacy.
keyword: facts, reason, power, just do it.

How do you maximize your chances of building an enduring $1B+ non-transactional customer company?

By building enduring engagement, in three levels:

  1. Growing engaged users: focus on growing users completing the core action.

  2. Retaining users: product should get better the more it’s used. Users have more to lose by leaving the product.

  3. Self-perpetuating: As users engage, they create virtuous loops in the product.

    • Pinterest did well with
      • network effect
      • new UGC re-engages users
      • viral referral
    • Evernote and Tinder fall short on this.

Learning from who manages chaos for a living

Why should we learn time management from a system administrator? Thomas Limoncelli says “I’m a system administrator! I manage chaos for a living!”

Your customers value your ability to follow through more than they appreciate any other skill you have. Nothing ruins your reputation like agreeing to do something and forgetting to do it.

What is the key to perfect follow-through?

The Cycle system. It is called cycle because it repeats every day and the output of one day is the input to the next. It uses these three tools -

  1. A day-by-day to-do list and an hour-to-hour schedule
  2. A calendar
  3. A list of long-term goals

Keep them in one single place and sync across all devices. And don’t trust your brain for remembering and prioritizing and scheduling tasks.

Why other systems fail?

  1. The scattered notes system
    1. No gotta catch 'em all
    2. No prioritizing
    3. No contexts for you to resume previous work
    4. Easy to lose
  2. The ever-growing to-do list of doom
    1. No prioritizing
    2. No contexts for you to resume previous work
    3. Easy to ignore old tasks
    4. Self-esteem killer: the god damn list never gets completed!

What is a system that succeeds?

  • Portable & Reliable. The tool should be portable with you everywhere, and reliable to keep all tasks.
  • Manageable: It can break up or union tasks, so they become manageable.
  • Providing Contexts: A task record can contain contexts that you can easily recover to the working status.
  • Prioritizeable & Schedulable. It should be easy to scope to today’s work items and schedule, though still keep the ability to arrange tasks more than one day.

Why is routine a good thing? It gives us a way to think once and do many.

Routines, for example, can be

  1. Gas up on Sunday
  2. Always bring my organizer
  3. Regularly meet with my boss
  4. The check-in-with-staff walk-around
  5. The check-in-with-customers walk-around
  6. During outages, communicate to management
  7. Use automatic checks while performing specific tasks
  8. Always back up a file before you edit
  9. Record “To Take” items for trips, (especially when you travel a lot),

Mantras, for example, can be

  1. If it has to be done every day, do it early in the day. So it won’t let you stay up late.
  2. Sooner is better than later.
  3. Trust the process.
  4. When in doubt, throw it out. If I ever do need it, I can ask the source for a copy.
  5. Write down every request.
  6. If you are not sure if an email list is useful, it isn’t.

How to develop routines? Try to find …

  1. Repeated events that aren’t scheduled.

  2. Maintenance tasks.

  3. Relationships and career networking. Relationships require maintenance and are also similar to gardening (they grow if you work diligently, starve if they are ignored, and die if they get too much attention). There are four types of people to maintain relationships

    1. Customers (or SPOC single point of contact for each customer group)
    2. Staff
    3. Peers
    4. Boss(es)
  4. When procrastinating takes longer than action.

  5. Things you forget often.

  6. Inconsequential or low-priority tasks that can be skipped occasionally but shouldn’t be.

  7. Developing new skills.

  8. Keeping up-to-date by reading.

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