Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surprise in a Idea

What does Sixth sense, Agatha Christie, Gumnaam, Byomkesh Bakshi have in common? Well ofcourse they are related by suspense and mystery. But how are they related to the title in the post?

Read on ...


In my earlier post about stickiness of an Idea, I talked about the book "Made to stick" and its contents in nutshell. Digging further deep in the topic and exploring the unexpectedness part of the message/idea, I have few take aways. These are not direct sentences from the book, the essence can however match.

Inculcating surprise factor in speech is necessary to retain attention of audience over a period of time. Whenever I come across such to-dos I try to find out logical process or method for it. And it has to be practical one so that it can be practiced right away. What can be a better way to learn these things then to practice it?

One method for creating surprise in a speech/idea that I have discovered (or rather a result of amalgamation of watching movies/reading novels) is to show micro/unit parts of the entire plot, one by one and showing the entire map at once to the audience. Let the audience make connection. By doing this we are providing context to the audience in parts and when we show the entire map at once we create gap in their knowledge. The effort of making connection between parts is left to them and that's what intrigues them in the story.

Now something directly from the book. "Break the mental model of your audience and give clues to fix it".

It's like a jigsaw puzzle, just that in the beginning you are not sure what you are going to end up with.

I have not invented this method. It's been employed by many successful directors and script writers of famous movies. Does the opening of this post now make sense? Well most of the suspense and mystery movies are framed like this only. And people remember these stories longer. It sticks to their mind !

2 comments:

Shalini Tripathi said...

interesting post ...... it opens up lots of possibilities .... but when u say break the mental model then u mean that designer should go with his/her intuitions rather following the user

Kumar Ahir said...

@ shalini. Thanks. The intent of the post is to educate presenters with techniques of getting their idea through to the audience. When you are designing the rules change !