Brain Chemistry Alert for Memorability

Activate the lizard-brain. Give a dopamine hit. Embrace subconscious problem-solving.

There's a whole host of advice from neuro- (and pseudo-) scientists telling us how we can make ourselves more prepared, popular and productive when talking with others.

Like within the trio of examples up-top, some are great, many are rot.

I recently learned of a latest arrival; predictive processing.

As Kate Reardon wrote in The Times;

"... our brains only process a relatively small amount of all the sensory input available to us. The only bits our minds are really interested in are those that are different from what we’re expecting ... So we’re wired to be alert to surprises".

The selling crossover being to build in such 'surprises' when pitching, talking, meeting with prospects.

This concept isn't new. From Make It Stick and possibly long before, the lessons in startling, disrupting or simply making someone double-take to gain engagement, focus and later recall are paths well trodden.

There seems emerging consensus around our brains being "prediction machines" ('seeing what they expect to see, hearing what they expect to hear'). As broadsheet journalist Julian Baggini explains; "We tend to think that our minds are like video cameras, recording the world. In fact, they are more like projectors, creating our reality." Meaning our task as sellers is to add in the data that allows for the 'retraining' of flagging up something critical.

Which also brings in the aligned theme of habituation. Which we tend to settle into, switching off a bit when anything follows a familiar pattern. Only to be jolted out of it when the unexpected takes place. Another slant along similar lines to remind us we must provide such gentle yet happily received little shocks.

In both cases, having plenty of different ways to ask a question, show an explanation or demonstrate curiosity are winners.

Call when in front of a big whiteboard. Don't sit gun-barrel straight. Draw on paper diagrams with a thick-nibbed marker. Make an associated hand signal or expression. Frame their process in a fresh way to them. Gauge opinion. Move about. Don't use Teams. Try being two hybrid pairs. Even use a single-use collab app for the first time.

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