What happens when you think about words like “old”, “bald”, “wrinkled”, “retired”, and “Florida”? These are all words associated with old age. When you think about words like these, you start to behave like an older person. Indeed, you even walk more slowly than you would if you had thought about “young” words instead.
It’s an important concept called priming. Your audience is probably thinking about something before you communicate to them. What they’re thinking has a considerable influence on how your message is received.
So what can you do about it? First, you should know what’s on your audience’s mind before you begin, If the audience is positively primed, you may not need to do much more. If they’re negatively primed, however, you’ll need to take a second step and re-prime them. You can do this be carefully choosing the words and images you evoke as you set the stage. Learn more in the video.