2 min read

Last month I went to a show at a comedy club in LA called Largo. We saw a handful of acts and they were all in very different phases of “polished.”

That’s common in the world of comedy – comedians will practice or workshop new material in smaller clubs to get a sense for what works and how to make what DOES work work really well.

What’s always fascinated me is that the difference between a joke that lands may not be the words at all – but the delivery.

Timing, tone, volume, body language…they can all have a huge impact on how it lands.

And it’s not just comedy – it’s communication in general.

Especially persuasion.

When you’re talking to someone about an idea – whether you’re selling them on a project together or your half-baked app idea, your delivery is important.

When you’re selling a client on working together, strong delivery can come from certainty.

We’re already nervous when we think about making decisions.

When we make a decision, we’re putting ourselves on the line for failure.

When we make a commitment, we’re putting ourselves on the line for disappointment.

So for you to convince me work together, I want to trust you. My trust and excitement will come from you calming my nerves – from soothing my fears.

The best way to do that is by offering certainty.

I know I can help you.

I know this will be good for you.

I know we will get that outcome you’re looking for.

Contrast that with:

Yeah, I think I can help.

Yeah, I think you’ll enjoy this.

Yeah, I think we can get that done.

In both cases, you may actually feel personal certainty. You probably wouldn’t be having this conversation if YOU didn’t believe you could deliver.

But clients don’t want to hear belief – they want to hear certainty.

Take it a step further: I know we can knock this out of the park, because here is a similar situation from a past client.

If we’re considering our options, we’re going to go with whoever feels the safest. Safest to get the outcome we want, safest to make our boss happy, safest to stay within budget, etc.

Safety comes from certainty.

Don’t believe you can help us, know you can help us.

…and then deliver on that promise!


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