How to persuade people to do what you want

“David, your face is going to explode.”

My mum’s words to me in 2010, when I weighed almost 21 stone (294lbs). Words only a mother could get away with saying to her son.

She was quite rightly worried about the amount of chicken foo yungs I was devouring from my local Chinese takeaway, and didn’t want me having a heart attack before I was 30.

And even though she’d said stuff like “why don’t you start eating healthier” in the past, I’d never listened, because she’d always told me in the same ordinary way.

But the power of her carefully chosen words that day hit me like a hammer…

  • “David,” – stern, like she was telling me off.
  • “your face” – not ‘you’, but specifically YOUR FACE, the most important part of my body.
  • “is going to” – not ‘might’, or ‘could’ or ‘should’, but a certainty. This is going to happen.
  • “explode” – Jesus, like my cheeks and chin are so bulbous, my head will literally kaboom.

You know, like that guy from Big Trouble in Little China…

Her words had finally resonated with me, and three months later, I’d lost 4 stone (56 lbs). All because she’d found a way to make me listen.

Think about this the next time you want people to click on your email, or read your blog post, or buy from your website.

Don’t tell people they should maybe start eating healthier, tell them their face is gonna explode!

Or get in touch and I’ll persuade ’em for ya!

10 thoughts on “How to persuade people to do what you want

  1. Hi Dave,

    Love your LinkedIn posts. You certainly have a way with words – ya scouse bastard😜.

    Not sure I can afford you or if you know enough about my potential market but please take a look at (worst word/domain?) and let me know how you might be able to help and at what cost.


    Graham (a sweaty sock residing in Jakarta for almost 24yrs)

  2. I like this! But in my industry (cybersecurity), fear-mongering is beyond commonplace but we want to convince our audience to take action. How can you tell someone their face will explode when they immediately tune out fear-based messages? Thanks! Just subscribed!

  3. Telling reality is lik opening a fire ambush granade and showing the enemy the ring!

    Awesome. Albeite, you have to be also ready for a certain resistance back to your face ))) But, it is fun and working anywas.

    Thanks for the story, Dave.

  4. You are by far one of my favorite people on Linkedin. I am on here more now that I’ve found your page. Thank you. I agree with what you’ve said here. To make people listen, you have to convince them.

  5. I love it! As a French person, when I studied English, I was told that to express the future, the use of “going to” implies the near future, whereas “will” implies that it’s more likely to happen. So could your mum have hit harder by saying: David, your face will explode? Just a question…

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