By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to assure your message is more easily digested. Reading time: 2:03
Chances are you’ll be smiling a bit after reading the following little ditty. Consider the way millions of motorists over some 40 years smiled at the innovative way the shaving cream company redefined roadside advertising beginning in the 1920s.
A peach looks good
With lots of fuzz
But no man’s a peach.
And never was.
It was a lot more than just the catchy words that Burma Shave used on their 7,000 sets of billboards: it was how Burma Shave spaced their words on five or six sequentially placed billboards and paced their key messages a few words at time to make sure the passing motorists had enough time to read and digest its message before reaching and reading the next billboard.
Burma Shave parsed its message a few words at time. A motorist could then easily read, understand and digest the message: “A peach looks good….with lots of fuzz etc.
Billboarding your message with the Burma Shave model of communications is still a persuasive skill of the most effective leaders I know. They don’t simply roll out a speech or product launch. They space it. They pace it. They place it where it makes the most sense to their target audience so they can more fully understand and act on the message.
Pacing and spacing helps your followers better respond to change—bit-by-bit, billboard-by-billboard. Pacing and spacing disciplines you to first get the attention of your audience. Pacing and spacing disciplines you to engage your audience quickly, often through humor. Pacing and spacing disciplines you to key on the essence of your message. And pacing and spacing helps you more readily digest your message in bite-sized chunks.
To inspire you to pace and space your own Burma Shave styled message, here’s an example of a disciplined billboarding of a message that I composed to promote Leadership Mints:
Only the Best
Listen & Learn
And Readily Serve
So the next time you have a policy speech to roll out to the troops consider taking your audience for a drive down Burma Shave Memory Lane and better drive home your message. One billboard at a time.
Space and pace your message to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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