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  • Writer's pictureLev Mikulitski

Milton Model as an effective persuasion tool to win your next pitch.

Quite often we find ourselves having a conversation with people but they do not really listen to us. It's doubly frustrating when we're required to persuade and motivate people to go with us on a particular line of thought, but it does not happen. And if at stake is an idea that has a bearing on our livelihood or our society? And if we simply must not fail in the task because the price we pay will be unbearably high… Wouldn't it be helpful to have a set of skills that helped people to hear what you have to say so they could learn what they needed to learn and get the results that they needed to get?

The Milton Model offers a set of techniques which reduces resistance by giving a suggestion that is so vague the person has to think deeply to make sense of it. Global leaders, Presidents, Prime Ministers have been trained in these techniques. If you read one of Tony Blair's speeches, you'll see that it is incredibly vague. It's full of suggestions which the conscious mind needs to concentrate on to validate or make sense of. Meanwhile, he's able to embed commands into the unconscious of the public. Now, your conscious mind gets distracted many times a day.

When I taught consumer behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I would always bring this example to my students... Have you ever driven home along a route that you've taken many times before and wondered, how did I get here? You were driving while your conscious mind was distracted thinking about something else. So you'll habitual unconscious mind had to guide you. I have and I've been very grateful I didn't bump into anyone on the way. How about when you watch a film or a movie and you forget your surroundings as you get absorbed in the film?

The following techniques can be used only if you have a rapport with the person. Only if the techniques are being used ethically because the person will know. And only if you use these techniques positively, you really want to avoid instilling fear or negative images into the unconscious brain. Ready to go further? You may recognize some because you're already using them.

The first is called a mind read. Now, this is best explained with an example. I know you're thinking of a red butterfly. Unless you have incredible mind control, you will have thought of a red butterfly. You may still be thinking of a red butterfly. Okay, you can stop thinking of a red butterfly. Still thinking about it? Aren't you? With this technique, you make a suggestion to the other person which they accept as their own. You use words such as, I know, I knew, we know, you probably, you are enjoying. I bet I can tell that, I can see that, I realize. The conscious mind thinks deeply, looking for the root of your comment. Meanwhile, what you say directly afterward is accepted by the unconscious mind. Here are some examples. I can tell that you're keen to hear more. You probably want to know how you can get started straight away. We know that finding an expert who understands what you need is challenging, mind read.

Lost performative, a lost performative is where you make a value judgment, say whether something is good or bad without saying why or how you know it is. You remove the personal pronoun so it becomes more objective, that is, you use it rather than I. For example, it's best to, it's good when, that's good, that's right, that's perfect. It's great, it's a good thing to, it's bad to, it's bad when, that's bad, it's wrong to, no one should. It was not right, it's better to, that's wrong, or that's right. That last technique, that's right, my colleagues and I joke about it. In itself, it confuses the conscious brain and allows you to embed messages into the unconscious. That's right.

Cause and effect, cause and effect is where it's implied that one thing causes another. If I, then, as you, then you, don't, unless, if you, you will, as you, you will, because, you are, as you, you are, you will, as you. If you agree to this program, then you'll get the results faster. If you help me put this report together, then I can help you. As you see more, you will want to implement it straight away.

Presupposition, presupposition is where you assume something about the personal situation. People use this technique all the time. For example, you are learning many things. You can do this even better. You are changing all the time. You're seeing things differently now.

Universals, universals are phrases that no one can argue with. A universal generalization without a personal pronoun. For example, nobody's perfect. Everyone loves a good deal. No one likes losing money. Everyone needs experts when they have problems. It's always better to ask someone who knows.

And tag question, a tag question is where you end a statement with a question that provokes a response. You like getting things done well, don't you? You don't like our competitors, do you? You can get me this by 3:00 PM, can't you? These are great techniques, aren't they? Would you like to hear these techniques altogether? Here you go.

I know you're wondering when you can use these techniques to win your fundraising pitch, and that's a good thing to wonder, isn't it? Because if you learn these techniques, then you'll get yourself funded. And getting funded is a great thing, entrepreneurs wish for it, don't they? That's right, they do.

With these techniques, you can help a resistant audience hear what they need to hear and do what they need to do. Change is hard for everyone, but with these simple structures, your audience will get the results they need much faster, and so will you. Just make sure that when employing any of the techniques, you always, always have rapport.

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