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The Dripping Tap

 

Techniques General persuasion > Using repetition > The Dripping Tap

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Repeat key words and phrases over time.

Keep the words carefully separated and control the predictability when they arrive. Initially, the words will be unexpected. You can then build up both expected and unexpected occurrence of words.

You can use the same words or different words - the key is that the meaning is the same and that it gradually moves the subject in the right direction.

You can also use different styles, including straight facts or emotional appeals.

Example

This report on climate change looks worrying...What is our environmental policy?...Do we comply with environmental regulations?...Look at this article -- a company down the road has got into real trouble...I spoke with Jan and our emissions are not great...The shareholder meeting is next week, what if they ask about environmental issues?...

We need to have an internet presence, you know...Our competitors all have an internet presence...I spoke to a customers recently who was surprised to find that we do not have an internet presence...

Discussion

Dripping water will erode an entire mountain, possibly without the mountain noticing. Likewise, a repeated word or phrase, cunningly hidden, may not be consciously noticed, but may be get through to the subconscious.

The dripping tap is slower than the hammer, and may be around the same speed as nagging, or maybe even slower.

The purpose with the dripping tap is to get through to a person via relentless, but careful, repetition. It is thus more subtle than nagging. With varying words, the tap may not be consciously noticed.

See also

Repetition principle, The Jackhammer, The Hammer, Nagging

 

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