I recently read an article by linguist George Lakoff about understanding the Trump phenomenon. You may already be familiar with Lakoff’s strict father model (you can read more about it in the article here).
What I found interesting in this article was the list of mechanisms Trump uses to hack our unconscious. From using repetition, “make America great again,” to framing, “crooked Hilary.”
Trump is skilled at simplifying his message and repeating his key points over and over. His messages don’t rely of facts, but rather they rely on key stories that elicit an emotional response with his audience.
These techniques are not exclusive to one party. In Canada, Justin Trudeau won using many of these same techniques. Trudeau’s message was of “real change.”
What these two politicians have in common is a simple vision for their future. Both visions are stated in simple terms.
Make America Great Again
It’s time for Real Change
If we want to make change, Lakoff recommends our messaging start with values, “not policies and facts and numbers. Say what you believe.”
In this week’s video, Beyond Story, Your Big Vision, I talk about the importance of vision in telling your story. For video to have impact, you want to use your vision as a point of connection.
“Values come first, facts and policies follow in the service of values. They matter, but they always support values.” George Lakoff
People are craving good stories. Let’s make something great.