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Dialog format

Dialog is an effective way to promote the ideas with respondents involving into discussion.
“In the famous parable seven blind met the elephant. They were able to see the elephant when they conducted a dialog with each other about it ... The elephant was pleased - he not only was noticed but almost realized.”
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With a change in the communication’s model vertical (monolog) information transmission formats are weaken and the flow of information increases thus a dialog becomes more effective way to promote your ideas (more detailed description can be found in the chapter “Current communicational model”).

How it works? You have an idea: something unique and interesting to other people. On its basis you are building your first message and submit it in an interactive, conversational format. So you initiate a primary discussion at a very early stage and the audience connects with your idea. Even if the idea is criticized, it still has entered into the consciousness of people discussing it.

And it has created for you a window of opportunity to promote your ideas even deeper into other people’s world.

Even more advantage is that you get feedback; you become able to see your idea from a different angle and to understand how to improve its attractiveness to others.

At the second stage you offer message’s modification. It’s the same idea, but from a different perspective and with taking into account the views already expressed. And thus you form a new discussion circle. If necessary you need to repeat this step…

At the third stage the discussion of your idea is picked up by others with forming on its basis their own messages. It became part of the Wide World, got its own life (more detailed description can be found in the chapter “World’s creation”).

Can any idea become the dialog’s basis? Of course, can not.

Prerequisites for the dialog’s emergence are:

  • The idea must be relevant (interesting) to your audience, fit into their universe (world’s view) picture.
  • The idea must be expressed in language understandable for the audience.
  • Each participant in the dialog must see benefit (or harm) in the idea.

The most current idea got the smaller gap between the first message and the beginning of its active discussion. The most benefited (or harmful) idea will be the most discussed. The closer it is to the audience’s world view, the easier it is to take it.

So you have an idea. Something that you feel is unique and necessary for other people. This idea can be arrayed in any product, service, concept … and you need to promote it in the Wide World to strengthen your reputation, improve business efficiency, social relevance.

The idea is “packed” in a message (a short language form).

Next you choose the format in which it will be brought, how to communicate with the audience.

Traditional and familiar format is advertising and marketing monolog. In this format you plenty of times and very often tell the target audience about the idea (in this “language” the idea called USP (unique selling proposition). It requires heavy spending from you – time, finances and other resources. Because monolog formats are worse (weaker) to penetrate into the world with your idea, as your monolog provides low audience’s involvement. Everyone is talking about own idea and does it simultaneously with many other speakers, and does not give listener the opportunity to speak in response.

That is necessary not only to overcome the “noise threshold” to stay constantly visible on a background of other messages but to be so compelling and interesting to take a decent (or at least some) place in the crowded parts of the other person’s world view.

And even if successful in the end, then the response the author certainly will get in a completely different space and in a different form. As the audience, unable to enter into a direct dialog with the author will answer him out of his sight.

Interactive formats avoid these inconveniences and improve communications. They involve your respondents to the discussion and get into people’s minds. Also dialog allows you to directly and quickly analyze how people react to your idea and adjust its presentation. But the dialog formats require comprehensive skills in design and implementation.

Elegant example

Of course, it’s a lot easier to stay in the middle of the bustling market and to scream loudly and often: “Pies, the most delicious pies in the world!” while ignoring questions about filling, cooking process and so on. Of course, there is a certain amount of people who want to buy your pies. But for this you have to constantly and loudly shout, and deal with the fact that many will bite and throw your pies away because they have a very different idea of “the best in the world.”

A much more effective although more difficult way to build a dialog around pies is to discuss it with people and to know their understanding of the “best in the world”, to talk about the taste of different fillings, about the benefits of wood oven and electric oven and which is the best to make pies… To create the subject of dialog and to involve the people in it. And to make sure that they still continued to discuss your pies with other people long after eating.

How to build a dialog?

The dialog is always based on the idea – the subject of a dialog – formulated essence of your offer to the world.

Monolog is possible in the absence of ideas, dialog is not. If there is no idea there is no subject matter and there is no dialog…

And if you have an idea, you can design a dialog to promote it in your listeners’ minds and hearts. We use three rules listed below for this.

Firstly, the idea – the subject of a dialog – must be relevant (interesting) to your audience, be compatible with their world view. For example, you have created the idea of different classes of service during an airplane flight. And you can easily discuss it with the “Million miles” club member. But you can not discuss the business class flight’s merits with Neanderthals. You will have to explain to him flight on an airplane concept, the money concept (and related difference in the flights’ conditions), and much more. And only then to start to discuss your idea with him: why fly business class rather than economy. Again assuming that our Neanderthal comprehended all modern civilization’s aspects, suggests in foreseeable future to fly somewhere by plane…

Secondly, the idea must be presented to the audience in an understandable language. If in Neanderthal language there is no word “business class”, you need to describe this concept with those words that are there. On the other hand if you’re over-describing in detail the concept to the “Million miles” club member, then most likely he would die of boredom at the beginning of your story.

And thirdly, each participant in the dialog should see benefit (or harm) from your idea. Presenting the idea you give his interlocutors the opportunity to personalize it – to define its benefits and its threats against its existence. The same Neanderthal may experience less need for regular food; respectively he may like the idea of paying less for a ticket in economy class. The “Million miles” club member, on the contrary, will appreciate the advantages of the wide aisle as an additional service…

These three rules apply to any communication format but they are required in dialog format.