How to express ideas clearly and even persuasively in a limited time is always what I’m curious about. That’s helpful, right? With that skill, you can easily get founding, pass a job interview or any other thing you can imagine. At least, you’ll be a great communicator. With that question, I searched TED talks under 6 minutes and finally got this one, “How to use a paper tower?”, which is one of the most persuasive TED talks under 6 minutes. Actually, it’s only around 4 and a half minutes. So, let’s explore how it magically works.

Well, we all use paper towers every day, the speaker showed us his way to use paper towers which can save hundreds of millions pounds of papers every year if every American people can follow it. Sounds attractive, right? That’s the first secret, attracting people in the first time. Otherwise, people might get impatient and you lose a half chance. There’re many ways to attract people quickly. What he adopted here is listing some big numbers. People usually don’t meet big numbers in daily life, so that’s a good way to attract them.

Second important rule here is do NOT overwhelm your audience. What I like about the speaker is he only gave two keywords to audience: shake and fold. Shake means you shake your hands to get rid of water, while fold means you fold paper towels and wipe your hands. It’s pretty much simple. It should be as you don’t want to overwhelm your audience.

Actually, there’re many other skills we can learn from that short video. To not overwhelm you, I just mention one more skill he used. Repetition! The magic of repetition is it makes people more likely to keep something in mind and even accept it. There’re many ways to do repetition. The speaker showed us two of them. One is just repeating those keywords again and again. The other is doing the action, again and again. If you watch the video, you’ll find he repeated for more than 5 times. That’s crazy, but really useful.

In order to verify what I said, let’s watch the video. You’ll find how the speaker attracted people in the first time, gave out two keywords and repeated them again and again.

How to use a paper tower

Well, as you can see, attracting people in the first time, listing a few keywords and repeating them for several times. Those are what we can learn from this video. They make us an effective communicator.