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Shock and awe

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Opening the conversation > Shock and awe

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Do or say something surprising or shocking. Create awe and wonder.

Amaze them with your bravado. Show them that you are not afraid of anything. Show that you do not care what others think of you.

Be anything but boring and normal.

Do match your tactics to the situation: your goal is to amaze, not to terrify. Smiling whilst you shock and awe can be a way of showing that you are not serious.

Example

You know, I've just come out of prison. Five years for fraud is just too much, don't you think? Well they didn't find all the money so I should be ok.

Have you ever tried fighting a crocodile? It's not easy, I can tell you.

(shouting) Good heavens! You are the most beautiful person I have seen!!

Discussion

Displays of prowess are common across the animal kingdom, including humans. One way you can do this is with what you say, as well as how you look.

Surprise happens when you break expectations. This can make you interesting. It can also lead to fascinating conversations.

'Shock and awe' is a name used for a military tactic where a display of overpowering might is used to encourage the enemy into submission. You do not want to create fear with your display, but you do want to impress.

See also

Fear, Surprise principle, Wit and wisdom

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