Soon after Donald Trump declared his presidential candidacy, when most experts dismissed him as a joke who’d be gone before Iowa Scott Adams called Trump a master communicator in the same league as Abraham Lincoln and Steve Jobs. As a student of the art and science of persuasion, Adams recognized Trump’s deep toolbox for persuasion. On his popular blog, Adams predicted that Trump could go all the way. The public response was ridicule, scorn and even calls to boycott Dilbert. But ultimately, Adams was right and his critics were wrong.
So what did Adams see that the pundits missed? The short answer is the power of irrationality. We humans like to think of ourselves as rational beings, but we overwhelmingly make decisions on gut instinct, then invent reasons to justify those decisions after the fact. Emotional persuasion works despite a leader’s flaws, missteps and tacky behaviour. It can overcome all appeals to logic and even self-interest.
In his new book, Adams goes beyond politics to look at persuasion tools that can work in any setting. He explains the secret tricks of the world’s greatest persuaders, giving readers what he calls “access to the admin passwords for human beings.” You’ll learn, for instance, how to..
Create linguistic kills shots (“Low-energy Jeb”) with unexpected vocabulary and sticky imagery to refuel confirmation bias
Use the High Ground Maneuver–a successful tactic of Steve Jobs during publicity flare ups to win almost any debate
Spot the tells for cognitive dissonance so you know when others have abandoned reason
Written in the clever but relatable voice that his fans love, this is a must read if you care about persuading others in any field or if you just want to resist the tactics of emotional persuasion when used on you.