Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga: a Book Review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:46 PM GMT on November 21, 2012

With a name like "Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga", a book with a title like that compels one to pick it up and see what the heck the author is talking about. And Joe Romm's new book on how to communicate doesn't disappoint--it's a thoughtful and compelling look at the techniques used by some of history's great communicators to help persuade. Joe Romm is author of the climateprogress.org blog, the most visited climate change blog on the Internet, and the main blog that I use to stay current on climate change and energy news. Romm defines Language Intelligence as "the ability to convince people of something both intellectually and emotionally, at both a conscious and unconscious level." He goes on to say, "If facts were sufficient to persuade people, then experts in science would rule the world. But facts are not, and scientists do not. We filter out all the facts that do not match our views." At the heart of great communication lies great story telling, and Romm give us these tips on how to tell a story people will want to read:

- Write a great headline: Newspaper readers read 56% of the headlines, but only 13% of the stories are at least half-read. Headlines are even more important on-line, since they are what show up on Google searches and tweets. An example of one the most re-tweeted headlines Romm used in 2011: "Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up: June 2011 Heat Records Crushing Cold Records by 13 to 1" (Romm uses a pun and personification to help create an eye-catching headline.)

- Short words are the best words.

- Slogans sell.

- If you don't repeat, you can't compete. Repetition and rhyming help people remember your message.

- The golden rule of speech-making is: "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; tell 'em; then tell 'em what you told 'em."

- Repeated distortions and smears are as effective as repeated truths, so beware of these sorts of attacks.

- If you want to de-bunk a myth, you need to focus on stating the truth, not repeating the myth.

- If you want to be more noticed and remembered, use more figures of speech (metaphors.) Examples of metaphors I've used include comparing our melting Arctic to the attic of a house that is on fire (Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low) and comparing the impact of global warming on extreme weather to the impact steroids have on a baseball slugger (Extreme events of 2011: climate change a major factor in some, but not all).

- Create an extended metaphor when you have a big task at hand. Countless books and articles underscore that extended metaphors are at the core of human thinking.



Video 1. National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Dr. Jerry Meehl uses a metaphor to explain how climate change's impact on extreme weather is similar to how steroids affect a baseball slugger's ability to hit a ball out of the park.

At 183 pages, the book only took me about two hours to read, and I was very glad I did. It was very entertaining and informative, and anyone involved in public communication can learn from this book. I give it my highest rating: four stars out of four. Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga is $9.67 from Amazon.com.

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, everyone, and I'll have a new post for you on Friday.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 262 - 212

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

262. vis0
4:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Very good reading.

BTW Earth has 2 attics and 2 basements...sadly some use most of it as an outhouse.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
261. AussieStorm
4:09 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

Mount Tongariro Eruption. Source: TVNZ

A Geonet webcam at Mt. Tongariro has captured spectacular footage of yesterday's eruption, which lasted approximately 5 minutes, ejecting an ash column and plume some 3-4 km above the Te Maari crater. There have not been any reports of injuries or damage, beyond a light dusting of ash falling near the volcano.



Link


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
260. CaicosRetiredSailor
4:04 AM GMT on November 22, 2012

Mount Tongariro Eruption. Source: TVNZ

A Geonet webcam at Mt. Tongariro has captured spectacular footage of yesterday's eruption, which lasted approximately 5 minutes, ejecting an ash column and plume some 3-4 km above the Te Maari crater. There have not been any reports of injuries or damage, beyond a light dusting of ash falling near the volcano.



Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
259. CybrTeddy
4:01 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Went to Nea’s Thanksgiving Party last year. Didn’t work out well with the pies…




Reminds me of the blog during hurricane season once someone brings up Global Warming.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
258. AussieStorm
4:01 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting Dakster:


Sewers are the other 900lb gorilla in the room. Another 3-4 billion to fix those aging pipes. Already had some 'blow-outs'... Avoid the brown sea cucumber in the ocean.


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
257. Dakster
3:57 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!


Sewers are the other 900lb gorilla in the room. Another 3-4 billion to fix those aging pipes. Already had some 'blow-outs'... Avoid the brown sea cucumber in the ocean.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
256. VaStormGuy
3:36 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Reading back a few pages... Faux News? Really? Nobody but the Tea Party believes the lies they spew.

To be fair...MSNBC isn't much better from the other end of the political spectrum either.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
255. Grothar
3:19 AM GMT on November 22, 2012


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
254. GeoffreyWPB
3:17 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


I checked your weather expecting to see 65-70F. I was about to call you a wuss, until I realized "Hey wait, it actually is cold."


Lol..Born and raised here Kori. 50's is jacket weather.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
253. GeoffreyWPB
3:14 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving to all members of WU! Of course, I want to be the first...

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
252. KoritheMan
3:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Took the pup for a walk. It is chilly out there! (Lake Worth, Fl.)


I checked your weather expecting to see 65-70F. I was about to call you a wuss, until I realized "Hey wait, it actually is cold."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
251. Grothar
3:13 AM GMT on November 22, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
The last 4 GFS runs have all shown accumulating snowfall in the 162-168hrs time frame in SE MI, 6z and 18z showed the most. This isn't fantasy land and snow could happen, especially with a more negative NAO.

18z at 162hrs:


06z at 168hrs:

I don't like that idea.. not enough snow for me :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
The last 4 GFS runs have all shown accumulating snowfall in the 162-168hrs time frame in SE MI, 6z and 18z showed the most. This isn't fantasy land and snow could happen, especially with a more negative NAO.

18z at 162hrs:


06z at 168hrs:


How do atmospheric conditions look to be setting up for this winter. With the NAO and other factors.. how do they compare to recent years? Anyone?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I thought I would share this.....

Scott McPartland
Well this takes the cake...just received this email from some nut job woman about my appearance on BBC3. What's alarming is that there really are some people that believe this crap:

hello:
i viewed your coverage of Sandy on hulu tonight, having been a new york resident for 55 years, until 10 years ago.
as an aware, conscious citizen, i am aware of things like HAARP.

underground news reported a 7.7 earthquake up in alaska at the inception of sandy, where the haarp machine is located. it is said to have been caused by them and they were interacting with sandy to direct her course and fury.

the cold front you talked about directly from that geographic location was what forced Sandy's path straight into new jersey and staten island, not to mention the hurricane (thomas?) off shore that blacked her retreat.

what do you know about haarp's interaction with sandy? are you still free to discuss it or not?

since all major media is gov controlled, no one will hear a word on this subject. living in asheville now, the minute i heard 'super storm' and nyc, i KNEW haarp was involved, which means gov turning against it's people.

this is supposed to be a BY THE PEOPLE society, not an AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

thanks for listening.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Took the pup for a walk. It is chilly out there! (Lake Worth, Fl.)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Last night was the fourth night in a row when there was ice fog persisting after about midnight to around 9 am, reducing the visibility to less than 100 metres (~300 ft). Interestingly, this pattern of fog extends all the way to Chicago. Further west, places in South Dakota, just ahead of a cold front, are experiencing temperatures 30F above normal--and widespread accumulating snow is possible across South Ontario before the end of the month.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
But maybe not for long.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
58 now in WPB!:)


Happy Birthday.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting WoodyFL:


I wouldnt worry, i've never seen gro get mad at anybody


How long you been on?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Evening Wood. Long time...no see.


hi, Geo. Just lurking.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
58 now in WPB!:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


All in good fun Grothar...


I wouldnt worry, i've never seen gro get mad at anybody
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
All quiet on the Western front.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Went to Nea’s Thanksgiving Party last year. Didn’t work out well with the pies…

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!

I guess it really does show how low above sea level Florida is. A little bit higher sea level can make sea water come out of storm water drains inland.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


All in good fun Grothar...


:)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


They are working on fixing it, but it is going to cost a couple of billion to fix it.

Bad news for drivers is that it is SALT water that they are driving thru, not really good for the underside of vehicles.


got that right...between sea and salt grit on roads here, a BIG problem here is rust on the undercarriage. And likely part of why nowhere near as many classic cars about here as the US.

Bit scary that particular prob though...would make me worry having the tides come up from the sewer!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I think that remark deserves a twit.


All in good fun Grothar...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
This is crazy.



John Morales @JohnMoralesNBC6
TIME LAPSE of constant problem that seems to get worse every year in Miami Beach. Tidal flood comes up through drains http://ow.ly/fufW5


They are working on fixing it, but it is going to cost a couple of billion to fix it.

Bad news for drivers is that it is SALT water that they are driving thru, not really good for the underside of vehicles.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
The best and most powerful "metaphors" are inspired, and come from a place far beyond the complete understanding of the writer or artist who uses them.


Sounds deep.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
231. etxwx
Oooops...

Japan's new nuclear-proof robot gets stage fright

YOKOHAMA, Japan | Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:39am EST
(Reuters) - A Japanese robot designed to withstand high levels of radiation and extreme heat at damaged nuclear plants such as Fukushima froze on Wednesday on its first public demonstration. Despite being home to the largest number of industrial robots in the world, Japan did not have a device capable of entering the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Instead, Japan brought in U.S. robots to survey the extent of the damage inside the reactor buildings. Toshiba Corp unveiled Japan's own nuclear-proof robot on Wednesday, a four-legged device able to carry up to 20 kg of equipment and capable of lifting itself up if it falls over on uneven surfaces and amid debris.

During the demonstration, the robot experienced a case of stage fright. The shuffling Tetrapod locked up and suddenly froze after it tried to balance itself, forcing technicians to carry it away.

It is the second time such Japanese robotic technology has experienced problems. Last October, a crawling robot developed by the Chiba Institute of Technology lost connection with operators and was abandoned inside Fukushima's No. 2 reactor building.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WoodyFL:
Im not a big fan of al Gore, but that thing has been going around for years. If you tell a story tell the whole story. Heres a part and a link to the article.


Link


Evening Wood. Long time...no see.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting yoboi:



thanks did not know bush jr's house used less electricity than gores with same square footage....


What's your source for the Bush usage? I couldn't find him mentioned in the Snopes article.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The best and most powerful "metaphors" are inspired, and come from a place far beyond the complete understanding of the writer or artist who uses them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
225. etxwx
With S. Korean carbon market on horizon, reforestation project kicks off in border village
By Kim Hyun, Contributing writer

GOSEONG, South Korea, Nov. 22 (Yonhap News Agency)
Excerpt: - With waves of colorful autumn hills, tall and shiny Mongolian oaks and neatly tended vegetable farms, this remote village of border county Goseong, Gangwon Province, is emblematic of bucolic charm, but it has an eerie edge. Military trucks occasionally pass by and a bankrupt ski resort stands idle along with closed rental shops and restaurants.

So it adds another twist to the rural atmosphere that Korea's first-ever forest-based climate change project kicked off in this village, named Heul-ri, in October. There lies an abandoned cattle farm, now full of shrubs and weeds, which will be transformed into a forest that generates income for residents and carbon credits for industry, according to the so-called "afforestation and reforestation clean development mechanism" (A/R CDM) jointly operated by SK Forest Co., a Hwaseong-based major forestry company, and the state-run administrator Korea Forest Service.

The reforestation project commenced a month before a landmark climate change law took effect in Asia's fourth-largest economy as its latest green growth initiative. The Act on Allocation and Trading of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, effective as of Nov. 15, mandates cuts in gas emissions starting in 2015 and subsequently will create an official market for credits for carbon emissions at the national level. Carbon credits produced in clean development mechanisms, like the one in Heul-ri, can become money.

With no precedent A/R CDM case yet in Korea and the gloomy outlook of carbon trading markets around the world, the project operators put an emphasis on its research potentials rather than on commercial values. If successful, the case in Heul-ri may serve as a springboard for making inroads into reforestation in North Korea, as its geographical proximity means similar vegetation.

"This project is more of a symbolic one," said Kwon Min-soo, manager of SK Forest's business team that will implement and finance the 75-ha project over the next 60 years with government support. "Our financial team was against it, because there's little or no business prospect in itself."

The project operators chose this area for their clean development project because Goseong is considered one of the poorest counties in Gangwon Province, mainly due to its location. A large swath of the county is tied to the demilitarized zone bisecting the South and the North, effectively blocking any possibility of large-scale development.


More details on this project here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:
Dr. M's blog post talks about headlines and narratives.

A headline tries to plug us into a narrative. The storm names that TWC is trying are attempts at developing headlines for their narratives.

Headlines do not have to be truthful to work. If they get us to respond with curiosity, that's enough.

I didn't even read Dr Masters blog, cause it doesn't interest me that he's doing a book review. IMHO, he just did a blog for the sake of doing a blog.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Im not a big fan of al Gore, but that thing has been going around for years. If you tell a story tell the whole story. Heres a part and a link to the article.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. M's blog post talks about headlines and narratives.

A headline tries to plug us into a narrative. The storm names that TWC is trying are attempts at developing headlines for their narratives.

Headlines do not have to be truthful to work. If they get us to respond with curiosity, that's enough.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

GFS in the 8 day period is showing a changeover from rain to snow from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast. Tis the season and with the negative NAO forthcoming I hope the east coasters get their wish this season.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is crazy.



John Morales @JohnMoralesNBC6
TIME LAPSE of constant problem that seems to get worse every year in Miami Beach. Tidal flood comes up through drains http://ow.ly/fufW5
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting yoboi:


what time is it over there?

Current time is.........

11:45am Thursday the 22nd of November 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
You're clearly missing the point. Of course Fox would avoid airing a story on truthful scientific research that suggests that Fox avoids airing stories on truthful scientific research. And that means I had to search elsewhere.

As my kids would say: "Well, duh." ;-)

I'm finished with the pies (save for a few touches), and now the three dressing loaves are in the oven. I also just started the first rise on the dough for eight dozen Parker House rolls. In an hour or so, I'll unbag the turkeys, truss them up, and set them to chill/dry overnight in preparation for going in the oven in the morning. Then I'll form the rolls and cover them for their second rise. After that, a quick ride around the neighborhood to drop off the pies I'm not sharing with family. Then back home to bake the rolls, have a beer, and write my to-do list for tomorrow. The home stretch is in sight!

Serious Question for ya mate!

Do you think people that watch only FOX News are stupid?

Are you using gas or electric to cook your turkey? Is it to cold to walk around your neighbourhood to drop off those pies? Is your car electric or a hybrid?

Serious answers only please and try not to reply with back handed insults also.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricane2013:
Why don't we just discuss ENSO & the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season? Because the setup this year seems to be interesting. For the first time since 2004 I can say that we are in a very weak "Modiki".
Quoting hurricane2013:
Why don't we just discuss ENSO & the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season? Because the setup this year seems to be interesting. For the first time since 2004 I can say that we are in a very weak "Modiki".

You wanted to get your point across so much you said the same thing twice.


Slow down, we ain't finish technically with the 2012 season yet.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 262 - 212

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Category 6™

About

Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Labrador ice