Here Are Four Of The Strategies Donald Trump Used To Win The Republican Nomination
You Can Use These Communication Strategies In Your Business And Personal Life
Whether you love him, hate him, or are not sure, Donald Trump has a proven ability to communicate his message to a large group of people. So, here’s an important question:
What is it that’s making Donald Trump so effective as a communicator?
Whether you like him, dislike him, or are undecided, he has proven to be effective at getting the attention and support of much of the American public – and he does it largely on the basis of interpersonal communication – without the help of much paid advertising.
So… what can you and I learn from him… and how can we put it to use to get our message across to others?
In this article I’m going to reveal four of the strategies that Donald Trump is using to be an effective communicator and how you can use those strategies to quickly improve your leadership and communication. These are easy enough that you can put these to use right away.
Before I start, I want to be very clear about this: I do not support Mr. Trump or any other candidate. There is no political content here. I am simply using him as an example of some powerful and easy-to-use communication techniques.
Strategy #1 – Certainty
Certainty is that strong intention that about how things are going to be… even if they aren’t that way now. It’s as if you know before you start how things are going to end up.
Certainty is very, very attractive and it’s one of the four foundations of charisma. Personally, I believe that this is because most people don’t have much certainty so they are attracted to someone who has it.
People who have certainty walk at a faster pace (because they are always going somewhere), their voice tones and the way they talk convey certainty, they answer questions with certainty. They even enter a room differently than people who aren’t certain.
Just like most other things, certainty can be used for good or bad.
It can be a good thing or a bad thing because people tend to follow certainty – even if it’s off of a cliff (so to speak) – even when it’s used for selfish, or wrong outcomes. Of course certainty can be used to accomplish positive things just as well.
Strategy #2 – An Aspirational Message
An aspirational message is a message that is rather vague with words that have multiple meanings. Because of this, listeners are invited (at an unconscious level) to supply their own meaning and can easily agree with the message.
Here is Donald Trump’s aspirational message: Make America Great Again.
Most Americans can easily agree with that.
Even better, everyone can supply their own meaning and decide for him or herself how America will be made great again. Because you supply your own “how” it is easy to agree with the message.
It’s much easier to agree with an aspirational message than a ten-point plan. This is because the ten-point plan contains specifics and these specifics make it easy to disagree with and attack one or more of the specifics. An opponent can attack the points one by one and if they can invalidate just one of the points, they can invalidate the entire message.
In the political arena, Bernie Sanders also has an aspirational message with: A Future To Believe In. Once again it is vague and you are free to fill in your own meaning and agree with it.
Companies also do this with values statements that sound good, but really don’t mean anything. Here are some examples: Empowering Our Employees, Making a Difference, Operating With Integrity. Who could disagree with any of these? These all sound great, but are completely undefined and invite the reader to supply their own meaning.
Unfortunately, their vague nature makes them useless as corporate values in any practical sense. For a political campaign it’s OK, but in business you don’t want your employees making up their own meanings to your values statements!
Strategy #3 – Social Proof
Social proof shows that other people are in agreement with your message and think it’s a good idea.
The use of social proof creates a self-perpetuating cycle that provides even more certainty which provides more social proof which provides more certainty. You get the idea.
One of the ways that Mr. Trump provided social proof was to go against the conventional strategy of having small town hall meetings where people could ask questions. Instead he opted for large rallies in arenas, stadiums, and other large venues.
When people saw those huge crowds it reduced the perceived risk of agreeing and provided a lot of certainty for people who were undecided. The crowds create a “movement” that could be joined.
What would it be like if there was a movement for your product or idea?
One of the ways you can do this in business is to constantly solicit testimonials from satisfied clients and customers. On my website, I publish almost a hundred testimonials from people who have used my products, consulting services, or seen me speak. This provides a lot of certainty for potential clients!
Strategy #4 – Setting The Frame
A “frame” tells people what to think about a subject before they get a chance to decide on a meaning for themselves.
Once again, this strategy reinforces the certainty that Trump provides when he communicates.
One of the ways he sets a frame is by labeling his competitors with derogatory nicknames. He called Ted Cruz “Lying” Ted. He called Marco Rubio “Little” Marco. He calls Hillary Clinton “Crooked” Hillary. You get the idea.
He uses these negative single word frames to tell you what to think about these people.
Of course this can also be used in a positive way by labeling yourself, your company, your products, and the people you love with positive frames. What would happen if you labeled your children as being “smart”?
Or, what if you labeled your products as “the best”?
Try it for yourself, and watch the magic!
Putting It to Use
Now that you have these four strategies, how can you use them to become a better communicator?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Get certainty by deciding what you want. Even if you aren’t sure what you want, decide anyhow and use it as the basis for your message. You can always change it later.
- What aspirational message can you use to help people to agree with you?
- How can you get and use testimonials to provide social proof for you, your products, your message?
- What frame(s) can you use to make it easier for people to adopt your message?
Put these four simple strategies to use, and enjoy the results!
I look forward to hearing about your success.