doubleshot media

for a strong, fast pick-me-up

Why you should use WHY and RISK to hook attention


If you want to boost the chance people notice your messages or posts or articles here’s WHY you should RISK using words like WHY and RISK.

TB talking to class

If you are like me you read lots of articles from thought leaders. You make snap decisions whether to read or not.

Often you leave without finishing a “piece” (post or article). You are busy.  An article really has to promise a pay-off for you spending your time reading it.

This morning I was checking Linked In and a post from Tim Brown hooked my attention and compelled me to read it.

I couldn’t help myself!

This was the catchy title:

Why “Reply All” is a Risk Worth Taking

I was busy – yet I  stopped to read it and I’m so glad I did. It even inspired this post!

Then I analysed WHY this piece, out of all the others available, hooked my attention.

For me it was the word RISK.

I train organisations in Effective E-mail and as Tim writes – REPLY ALL annoys so many people.  Conventional wisdom is you usually DO NOT Reply All – especially if there is a large ALL audience.  Yet I wanted to know WHY this risk was worth taking.

Tony Biancotti - positive, persuasive messages

Tony Biancotti – E-ffective E-mail

If the piece just said: Why you should “Reply All” – I probably wouldn’t have read it.

WHY is better than just a statement heading: You should “reply all”.

WHY make you want to go deeper to find out WHY.

RISK – hooked my attention. WHY made me want to read deeper.

So…What hooked me was the compelling combination:

that word RISK

and the curiosity to find out WHY the contrary view

and the promise of some reward that it was WORTH doing.

Come to think of it – maybe there was also the powerful suggestion that it would be WORTH my while reading the piece.

Anyway, I’m glad I did and I look forward to following and learning from Tim’s pieces.

So my 3 tips for you:

1. use catchy words – it doesn’t have to be RISK. ( There are plenty of other catchy words displayed right in front of you every day and I’ll write more in a follow-up post about catchy words)

2. take a contrary view – this can arouse curiosity – WHY against the flow/the norm/conventional thinking?

3. When something catches your attention – analyse why and learn from the techniques

Here’s a link to Tim’s piece. To me it was a feel-good and inspiring example of how creative risk can be WORTH it.

Often in business, people are so busy – YOU really have to work hard to fight for their timely attention. You have to be different and compelling – and of course you have to deliver and not disappoint with the contents beyond the tantalising title!



If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.


tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: