How Reptilian Are You?
|April 2, 2014||Posted by Barnaby under Persuasion, Presentations, Self-Improvement, Selling||
Has this ever happened to you? You’re casually doing something like brushing your teeth … or fixing something to eat … when suddenly, out of the corner of your eye …
… you spot something moving.
It could be as harmless as an ant or small bug. And it could be off to the side, barely in view. But your senses pick up on it like a hungry cat spotting a bird.
Well, it’s not really that surprising. We’re hard-wired that way.
You see, what you just experienced was your Lizard Brain kicking in.
You’ve probably heard that humans have evolved to have not one, but several brains. The one we think of most often is our problem-solving, high-level reasoning “neocortex” brain that deals with complex issues. You know, the one that likes to watch TED Talks online.
Underneath that is our mid-brain or “mammalian” brain. The mammalian brain helps us sort out the meaning of things and in particular, helps us makes sense of social situations and encounters.
But deep down … lurking in all of us … is our primitive Lizard Brain. Primitive, because it focuses on our very survival, our fight-or-flight mechanism. It also triggers strong emotional responses to stimuli. Namely, fear.
So what does all this have to do with copywriting or selling?
Simple, as Oren Klaff points out in his eye-opening book Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Every message that comes our way … whether it’s from a face-to-face presentations (Klaff’s specialty) or from advertising … first gets filtered through our Lizard Brain. And the Lizard
Brain is only interested in 3 things:
- Is it dangerous? (If not, ignore it.)
- Is it new, novel, exciting? (If not, ignore it)
- Is it moving? (Figure out what to do)
If something gets the attention of the Lizard Brain, then that something gets kicked upstairs to the mammalian and human (neo-cortex) brains for further action. Not with a lot of detail, mind you. The Lizard Brain is only interested in sending a quick summary upstairs. Time is essential. There’s no point in wondering about the color of the sabretoothed tiger when it’s chasing after you.
All this has profound implications for anyone in the business of making a sales pitch, as Oren Klaff points out. We have to engage the Lizard Brain of our target audience in a way it likes to be engaged, and not go beyond its limits for attention span or interest. Pitch Anything is a quick and entertaining way to learn how to do exactly that.