LA 044: How to Communicate with Impact and Influence



Ideas are the currency of the 21st century.

The ability to communicate your ideas persuasively is the single greatest skill you need to accomplish your dreams

Spreading your ideas in the 21st Century requires a 21st Century model of communication

Let me introduce you to HUGS

HUGS Model
To Communicate with Impact we need to use HUGS

Neuroscience research using brain scans reveals that stories stimulate our brains, enabling the speaker to connect with the audience and making it likely that the audience will agree with the speaker’s point of view. So what’s happening inside the brain? Once we know this, we can deliberately structure our communication to engage our audience and, stand a greater chance of helping them understand a new point of view.

PFC Theatre

PFC Theatre
Your Pre-Frontal Cortex is like a theatre stage where you direct the play.

Your Pre-Frontal Cortex (PCF) is like a theatre stage. When you focus on one thing, it’s like an actor on stage. And we can keep 3 or 4 actors on stage at most at any one moment (consider how you remember phone numbers).

Information from the outside world is like actors invading the stage from the wings.

Information from your inner world is like audience members climbing on stage.

At any given moment, millions of bits of information are vying for your attention.

Getting Attention

We give attention to anything unusual, new or potentially threatening. This is the role of your Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC).

When something novel or unusual is perceived in the ACC, it triggers the production of cortisol (our main stress hormone) from the Amygdala making us feel distress.

And we immediately pay attention to something threatening.

Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Your Anterior Cingulate Cortex is like a trigger-happy guard on full alert for threats.
Oxytocin and Cortisol
To keep attention we want to trigger Oxytocin and Cortisol in their brain.

Keeping someone’s attention

We can sustain someone’s attention by increasing the tension in the story. We become anxious to know “what happens next?”

Once we have sustained attention long enough we become emotionally attached to the characters in the story, we empathize with them, thanks to another neurochemical, Oxytocin (our ‘love’ hormone).

And the Nucleus Accumbens triggers the production of Dopamine (our ‘Happy” chemical) when our story gives little wins of satisfaction. Making us feel happy and satisfied.

most communication is boring
If your communication is just facts and figures, Ill fall asleeppp zzzzzzz…..

Most communication is Dull and Boring

Because there’s no emotional connection. Just facts. When we do not connect to the facts emotionally, there’s no Dopamine to help consolidate the memory, and hence we forget most of it.

And there’s no heart to facts, we don’t empathize with facts? so no oxytocin to help the audience trust the speaker.

Making boring communication a thing of the past?

keeping attention through story
To keep someones attention, tell them a good story

To make your communication exciting and interesting, you need to tap on the way the brain works.

Use the story line to increase tension to produce Cortisol and gain the brain’s attention.

Increase tension to keep your audience’s interest to find out ‘what next?’

Keep their attention long enough to help your audience empathize with the characters of the story, which produces Oxytocin and thereby trust in the speaker.

Make sure your characters gain little wins that bring your story to a positive ending, producing Dopamine which helps both keep their attention and helps consolidate memory of the facts within the story.

Where do I start?

The most impactful speakers are people who are passionate about what they are sharing. It’s the fuel on which their story feeds. You need to find your fuel.

Remember the most impactful speech you ever listened to? It was a story.

Remember your most loved film? It was a story.

Now remember a significant event in your life. It’s your story. Start there.

What next?

Join me on my coaching programme “90 Days to Message Mastery” and I’ll guide you on your journey to clarify your own message and communicate with impact.

Check out this episode!

Professional Leadership Caddy

There is greatness within you. I work with people who want to work it out.

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With solid foundations from our research in Social Cognitive Neuroscience, our AdvantEdge programmes enable you to identify your real potential, successfully achieve your desired results and deliver high performance.

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My mission is to help you achieve positive change enabling you to realize personal success in business, career and life.

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