3 Lessons in Persuasion from Winston Churchill

by Jeremy Powers on January 13, 2011

As one the great political leaders of the 20th century, Winston Churchill knew a great deal about persuasion.  You can improve the marketing of your business if you qualify it against some of Churchill’s more famous statements.

1. No Jokes

A joke is a very serious thing. 

This is certainly true in advertising.  No joke is funny to everyone, and very few jokes (or puns) are funny to even the majority of people.  Leave the jokes to the comedians, this is business.

2. Repeat the important

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever.  Use a pile driver.  Hit the point once.  Then come back and hit it again.  Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.

Determine which benefit of your product is most important to your current customers, and then aggressively advertise your ability to deliver the benefit.

3. Use common language

Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words are the best of all.

You must overcome the desire to use jargon, sophisticated language, or pop culture references.  Simple and common language is most effective for reaching your audience.

How do you qualify your messages?

I review my copy against these simple rules, usually after the first draft.  How about you?  Do you review your messages for specific qualities?

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