In communicating, we invoke the senses when we say things like, “I see what you mean.” “That sounds good.” “That doesn’t feel right.” The sense of smell is used much less. We may describe a situation as, “That stinks.” Yet smell is the most powerful with respect to memories.
Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of public speaking, suggests we use words that trigger our senses, including the sense of smell to better influence our audience. He demonstrated it in part of his speech.
I went to hear Ryan Avery, 2013 World Champion speak. He likes to elicit the olfactory as well. He uses 5 colors of high lighters in his written speeches so he can easily see the 5 senses being used.
If you’re concentrating too much on the words of your speech, I’ll bet you’re missing the all-important feeling part. Perhaps excerpts from this article on how wine labels influence our buying inclinations will help convince you. Speaking is about what the audience is thinking or feeling during and after you speak, not the (dictionary) words you use.
Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying
by Michaeleen Doucleff, October 11, 2013
A carefully crafted label can make us think the bottle is way more expensive than it is, and it can boost our enjoyment of the wine itself, says David Schuemann of CF Napa Brand Design, who has been designing wine packaging for more than a decade.
“We always make a wine look about $10 more expensive than it is. So then it appears like an even better value,” Schuemann tells The Salt. “We add gold foil to the label or a gold stamping. We emboss the label or add a third dimension to give it a rich texture or tactile feel.”
Tucker & Hossler/Courtesy of CF Napa Brand Design says, “No part of the bottle is wasted for these subliminal mind tricks.” Then the consumer says, ‘Oh! That looks like it’s going to taste good.’ ”
And what about all those fancy descriptions on the back of bottles describing a chardonnay’s buttery aroma and creamy mouth feel? They also work their magic on your mind, says Aradhna Krishna, a marketing professor at the University of Michigan. “Eating and drinking isn’t just about taste, but it’s a combination of all our five senses — smell, touch, vision and even sounds,” she says.
In one of her recent experiments, she and her team showed two groups of people ads for potato chips. “One ad focused on taste alone. But the other described how the chips smelled like BBQ and had a crunchy texture,” she tells The Salt. The group that saw the second ad thought the chips tasted better because it evoked several senses.
The same goes for wine, Krishna says. “If the description on the back makes you imagine the wine’s fruity bouquet and the way it feels in your mouth, then the taste will be enhanced and consumption goes up.”
So get out your multi-colored markers and grab your audience by the senses !!! Can you create a 5 senses story?