People’s attention span is getting shorter, so we must look for creative ways to capture and maintain it.

That reminds me of a fifteen-year-old who one day decided to steal a book, regardless of the consequences:

It was at the end of the 70s, and while all his friends were drooling for Space Invaders, he just wanted the book ‘Switch’ by Elmore Leonard.

So much was his desperation to have the volume in his hands, that he did not hesitate for a second to steal it.

The inexperience led to his capture.

The teenager apologized to the owners of the premises, and never again got into trouble.

(I’m joking! he went looking for another store where they sold it and robbed it again … this time they didn’t catch him)

I don’t want to justify the crime, but something peculiar happened fifteen years later:

In 1993, Elmore Leonard went to see a movie called True Romance .

Watching it, he felt that the narrative was strongly influenced by his own literary style.

He didn’t remember the writer’s name on the initial credits, so he looked for the poster after the movie ended.

It was some guy called Quentin Tarantino.

— — —

Tarantino always cited Leonard as one of his strongest influences as a writer.

And of course, he remembered the time he stole one of his books out of pure and simple fanaticism.

What made Leonard’s novels so addictive?

That was asked in an interview:

“It’s easy,” he said. “… you just have to remove all the parts that you know people are going to skip.”

A matter of common sense, although somewhat difficult to apply.

How do we know which parts bore people and which don’t?

Well, if it bores us, it’s a good sign.

This rule is even more critical at this time, where I insist: attention and interest are increasingly difficult to keep.

I have shortened these stories from more than 1000 words to less than 500.

It has been for the best; I feel they are more concise and above all, digestible daily.

How can you apply it?

Craft your persuasion not based on what ‘you’ want to express,

Not even what you want the other person to hear or read,

But focus on what you want them to feel and what you want them to do .

Leave everything else in the cutting room floor. People will skip it anyway.

However, not all people are persuaded the same.

Some are just getting to know you. Others already have some trust.

So the strategy changes in each case. This is aligned with the ‘Three Levels’ of people’s trust, which you have to master.

No matter how attractive your offer is, you have to learn to persuade.

I can help with that!

Start by downloading my free Body Language tips ebook here:

Much Love and Bliss,

Jesús Enrique Rosas

The Body Language Guy.