- Founder to Thought Leader
- 🦁 How to stand up for something you believe in
🦁 How to stand up for something you believe in
It takes courage to stand up for something you believe in.
And courage is exactly what Jessica Butcher needed when she turned up at TEDxAstonUniversity to give a talk titled ‘Is Modern Feminism Starting to Undermine Itself?’
This talk hasn’t just been watched over 1.2 million times, it’s even landed her a role at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The secret to her talk’s success?
This talk is a masterclass in how to use questions to persuade.
Most people think persuasion is about overloading our arguments with logic and reason. But if they’re not open to listening in the first place your efforts will be futile.
There is a powerful cognitive bias called the Illusion of Explanatory Depth that can prevent us all from being open to new ideas.
It makes us think that we understand the world with far greater detail, coherence and depth than they really do.
Our job as speakers is to help our audience overcome this bias.
By asking questions that help our audience expose gaps in their own knowledge like Jess did in this 41-second clip… 🍿
3 things you can learn from Jessica Butcher’s questions…
Rapid fire questioning 🏹
Asking lots of questions in a short space of time helps to create a sense of urgency. The fact there are so many questions to ask in the first place demonstrates that the topic is complex and requires nuance. Jess asked 31 questions across her 16-minute talk. 8 of them were in this 41-second clip!
Closed questions challenge your audience’s assumptions 🚪
Every question in this clip leads the audience to answer ‘yes’ or ’no.’ Doing so helps Jess control the talk’s narrative whilst giving the audience the chance to silently participate.
Vary your question length 🤹♀️
Notice how the question length starts short, then they get longer, then shorter, then longer again?
This enables her to vary her pace and become even more engaging as a
This was the talk that took Jessica from successful founder to visionary thought leader. She turned up to my Thought Leadership Accelerator with the seed of an idea, unsure as to whether she should stick her head above the parapet at all.
But she did.
And it serves as proof of what you can achieve when you do. I’m hugely proud to have been able to play a small part in bringing it to life.
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