Frame your message to be persuasive. Practice presenting it so you can deliver it naturally. Share your script so others can amplify your message.
Anat Shenker-Osorio, Principal of ASO Communications hosts the Words to Win By podcast. She examines why certain messages falter where others deliver. Anat explains how to craft messages on issues ranging from pandemic and racial justice, clean energy, immigrant rights to reforming criminal justice.
"Messaging This Momemt: A Handbook For Progressive Communicators" is a free online ASO resource.
"We Make the Future Messaging Guide: Messaging for Wins in 2021 and Beyond" is a free online document with examples of sample scripts from ASO and We Make The Future.
The BigStage Teleprompter is a free app to deliver your messages persuasively on Zoom or in person. Pack and share scripts with others so they can amplify your message. This blog includes you'll find 17 powerful messages crafted by ASO Communications packaged in a free BigStage Teleprompter app for you to practice delivering.
Freedom to thrive
Crafting a message to be persuasive
There's an art to crafting messages to be persuasive. Here is an example Anat helped craft on how to explain that the Build Back Better plan gives us all the 'freedom to thrive'.
Lead with shared values, not problems
Lead with shared values, not problems Right now, most progressive messaging follows a familiar order: lead with problems, move to solution, end with a call to action. Americans got 99 problems and they don’t want yours. The desire to sound the alarm about the egregious, systematic and growing harms to our communities is understandable. But that doesn’t make it compelling. The problem with problems is that people don’t want more of them. Instead of leading off with problems, narratives that first link to shared values have proven much more effective at shifting opinions toward progressive policy solutions.
Bring people into the frame – offer clear villains and heroes
While leading with problems is ill advised, it is important to convey what’s at stake in our fights. Introducing the problem after you’ve set out the shared value helps generate cognitive dissonance in your audiences. Reordering when we introduce the problem is only part of the issue. We must also pay attention to how we describe it. Wherever possible, describe who is behind the problems you catalogue. And, when this isn’t obvious, use verbs like choose or decide, eliminate or confiscate, to characterize what lawmakers have done or seek to do.
Create something good, don’t merely reduce something bad
Be for something desirable rather than merely against something deplorable. Amelioration of harm, or describing a policy as reducing some recognized bad thing, may feel accurate. But it suppresses motivation and long-term engagement. Instead, describing the good thing your policy, campaign or movement exists to create helps sustain the will to fight among your base and engender interest among skeptics.
Focus on outcomes, not process
Any policy is only as good as what it allows you to do – prevent incurable diseases in your baby, have a little extra for savings, spend time with your family and so on. These are the terms and experiences that make things human issues, not policy debates.
Describe what you seek, not what you oppose
People accept arguments that reinforce what they already believe and reject those that don’t. This is known as “confirmation bias.” Don't repeat what the opposition says, even in order to counter it, simply lends them more airtime. It’s also another form of leading with problems, not shared values.
Introduce particular circumstances and harms
Framing the harm we describe as an attack not only on some group but also on the shared value established at the outset. It gives us the moral high ground and increases the size of our pool of supporters. We must openly name the race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity issues our opponents dismissively label “identity politics.”
Alienate the opposition
Use messages that engage our base, persuade the middle and alienate the opposition. This empowers our choir to want to convince the congregation. Second, we argue on our terms – not those of our opposition. If our committed opposition registers disapproval at our words, we can rest assured we’re advancing our ideas, not merely saying something blandly inoffensive. Double down on uplifting our base to persuade the middle.
Powerful scripts on vital issues
A well-crafted message and technology to empower hundreds of supporters to deliver it well is a force multiplier. Use them to sell your ideas better. Here are 17 short but powerful messages courtesy ASO Communications to practice your delivery skills with. Clicking on a link launches the script in a free teleprompter that you can use on a phone, tablet or laptop.
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