Don’t Quench Their Thirst with a Fire Hose

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(From the Persuasion Power Point section in Volume 18, No. 23 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

When someone asks you about libertarianism, how much should you tell them?

a) Enough to stimulate their desire for more?

b) Enough to satisfy their interest?

c) More than they want to know. Everything you know about libertarianism.

All too often, libertarians act on answer “c.”

We quench their thirst… with a fire hose.

We give them too much information, too fast. They can’t absorb it. Can’t digest it.

“The secret of being a bore is to tell all you know,” wrote Voltaire.

Burying our listeners with information numbs their minds and turns them off.

Drowning them with unfamiliar assertions, ideas, facts, and thinking — intimidates and overwhelms them.

When “too much” fails, “almost enough” succeeds.

Why? Because “almost enough to satisfy” is “enough to stimulate their appetite for more.”

This is the key: Almost enough. Less than enough.

“Less than enough” whets their hunger for more information about libertarianism.

“Less than enough” stimulates their thirst for more.

“Less than enough” arouses their desire to learn more.

in Communicating Liberty, Liberator Online Archives by Michael Cloud Comments are off
About the author: Michael Cloud

Michael Cloud is President and Co-founder of the Center For Small Government. He also co-founded the Massachusetts End the Income Tax ballot initiatives with Carla Howell, serving as spokesperson, primary fund-raiser and Communications Director. In 2002, Cloud ran for US Senate against 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, winning 19% of the vote — the highest vote for a Libertarian US Senate candidate ever. He has been politically active since 1976 and has raised over $8 million for small government candidates, projects, and initiatives. He is also a speechwriter and the Master of libertarian communication. He writes the Persuasion Power Points column for over 70,000 readers of the Advocates for Self-Government Liberator Online and is author of the books Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion and Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion. Cloud is also the co-author of Small Government News, an email newsletter that is published approximately every two weeks; more often around elections.