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Final Impact

 

Techniques > Use of language > Persuasive language > Final Impact

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

To maximize the impact of a sentence, paragraph or speech, put the main impact at the end, such that you leave them thinking 'wow!' and in a state of desire (rather than being rather bored and wishing you would finish soon).

The final impact can be increased by building tension beforehand, hinting at wonders to come, creating allure and promise that keeps them hanging on until your last word.

Example

I am going to let you into a secret -- but not yet. First, I want you to know that I have been listening to a lot of people like you who have similar problems. And I also think you will be pleased to know I have been able to help them get over those problems. And the secret of solving their problems lay in the effective use of a remarkable new support system.

Discussion

When people get the idea of what you are saying (or even think that they have got the idea), they cognitively close, switching off from attentive listening. To keep them listening and

Jokes keep people hanging on until the punch-line at the end by building tension beforehand. Tension is also used in movies and stories. This all adds up to an opportunity for a crashingly powerful and satisfying conclusion.

Importantly, if you create promise, it is important to meet the expectation you have set. Like a movie with a weak ending, if you fall at the final hurdle, you will still not get closure and may only create irritation.

See also

Closure principle, Tension principle

 

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