Chapter 20: Presenting the Problem in a Vivid Way
Years ago, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
was attacked with a prestigious smear campaign.
A malicious rumor claims that the newspaper is no longer attractive
because it has too many ads but conveys too little information.
Urgent action is needed to quell this rumor immediately.
And the editorial office chose to classify
and rearrange the articles of each normal daily issue
and publish it into a book called “Daily News”.
The book is 307 pages thick, prints all news,
events in one day for only a few cents.
In fact, the content of the newspaper is still the same,
but the presentation of the event is more vivid,
and much more attractive than the pictures
and articles in other newspapers.
Presenting ideas alone is not enough to attract attention.
Ideas must be presented vividly,
attractively and interestingly.
It’s the art of advertising,
used by cinema,
and so by television.
And you also need to use
if you want to get other people’s attention.
Television advertising professionals have a wealth
of ideas and techniques for promoting products.
A toothpaste that instantly whitens
and solidifies teeth with the approval of a dentist,
a soap or bleach that touches where flowers bloom,
glows, bright faces.
Happy expressing satisfaction with a certain type of product.
All those specific, vivid images stimulate viewers
to recognize the advantages of the advertised goods
and urge people to buy that product.
Jim Yeamans, a salesman for the NCR Company in Richmond, Virginia,
recounted how he sold with a compelling demonstration.
“Last week, I visited a retailer
and found his cash register very old.
I approached the boss and told him,
“You are throwing away a few cents every time a customer passes your counter.”
Saying that, I dropped a handful of coins on the floor.
He immediately noticed me.
Simple words might not have made an impression on him,
but the jingling of coins caught his attention.
As a result of that contact,
I was able to influence him to place an order
to replace all of his old machines.”
In the old days, boys used to kneel to propose.
No one is asking for it,
but guys do it
to create a romantic atmosphere before expressing it,
making it easier for girls to agree.
Children’s education also needs this method.
Mr. Joe B. Fant of Birmingham, Alabama,
couldn’t get his five-year-old son and three year old daughter
to clean up the toys they left on the floor,
so he devised a game of “cargo trains”.
How many “coal” (their toys) were all collected
by the two children and loaded into the wagon.
Then he drove the train to take his sister around the house.
In this way, the room is cleaned without resorting
to lengthy explanations
or threats of punishment.
And even if he threatened, he wouldn’t be able
to make the children as neat as he wanted.
Mary Catherine Wolf of Mishawaka,
is having some difficult issues to discuss with her boss.
But the secretary always said he was busy during the week,
the work schedule was very tight.
At last she thought of a way,
and wrote him a serious letter.
The letter said that she understood how busy he was,
but that she needed to talk
to him about a very important matter.
She enclosed a pre-written letter in an envelope with her address.
The letter was written as follows:
“Mrs Wolf! I can meet you at …………am/pm on ………….
I can only spend with you…………minutes never mind.”
So he or the secretary just needs
to fill in some time information in the blank space
and send it back to her.
“I dropped the letter in my boss’s mailbox at 11 a.m.,” she said.
At 2 p.m. I check my mailbox.
There was the envelope I addressed myself to.
He promised me 10 minutes that afternoon.
I met him, we talked for over an hour and solved many of my problems.
If I hadn’t come up with such an interesting presentation,
I would have had to wait a long time.”
James B. Boynton must submit a lengthy report on the lotion market with complete,
accurate and comprehensive statistics on the level of competition.
But the first time he met the boss to report,
he let himself fall into a useless discussion
about the method of market research,
and then got into an argument.
Learning from experience,
next time he changed his method:
“I walked into the boss’s office
while he was busy answering the phone.
While I waited,
I opened a suitcase and placed thirty different lotions on the top of his desk.
On each vial I put a piece of paper with a summary
of the survey results about it.
After completing the work on the phone,
he picked up each bottle to read the information written on it.
He asked a few more questions that showed interest.
At first he said he only gave me ten minutes to explain the matter,
but ten minutes was too late,
then twenty minutes,
then forty minutes,
we ended up talking for an hour.
This time I present the same facts
as I have presented before.
However, I used attention-grabbing,
visual advertising methods and it produced great results.”
A vividly presented dish will make diners feel the chef’s talent.
A vividly written short story makes readers
realize the writer’s ability to use language.
A vividly described opinion makes the listener
feel the subtle intellect of the speaker.
Principle 20: Know how to present problems vividly.