People Don’t Remember What Was Said, They Remember How They Felt

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This is a photo of me, Chris Brogan and Molly Flatt and the Like Minds Summit earlier this year. Looking at it reminds of one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learnt – namely that what I remember from that day isn’t the content we discussed (despite it being amazing), but it’s the feeling of friendship that I had.

Earlier this year I guest posted an article on Search Engine People discussing a simple framework to focus on feeling, because the reality is that when people reach the door, close the laptop, or put their head on the pillow, they don’t remember what was said, they remember how they felt.

Armed with 4 A’s, I used a restaurant as an example to explain how this is done – and you can apply this to anything: a shop, website, event, person, anything. You can read the whole thing here. The synopis briefly is that you need to consider:

Anticipation: How do you people feel about you, before they’ve experience you?

Ambience: What does it feel like when people are with you?

Assistance: How are you providing people what they need, so they don’t feel unsure or unprepared or?

Association: What does it feel like to be linked to you?

What I wanted to discuss today is what this statement, people don’t remember what was said but how they felt, means for us in the light of recent conversation. Right away, for example, I think of conferences where we often find organisers and speakers cramming content down throats, without thinking about how those attendees will feel about the event as a whole.

When you get to thinking about experience and feeling, you have to be user focussed, because that’s where all the feeling happens!

I was speaking to Chris Hall the other day (we meet up face-to-face a lot), and he was saying that the top thing he remembered from Like Minds wasn’t the content, it wasn’t hanging out with the great people, it was actually when I saw him on the Thursday night before and gave him a hug. That messes with my organiser mindset that says people will remember some profound thing that I said or some great innovation that we made. Because they won’t. They’ll remember the bit that made them feel special.

I wonder, then, how you can stop thinking about what you are saying, and instead on how you are endeavouring to make people feel special.

Your Leading Questions

  • When did you come away from something and you remembered how you felt far more than what you heard?
  • How do we translate feeling into action?
  • How do we measure feeling?

Archived Comments

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    How do we translate feeling into action?

    Translating feelings into action can be enabled with two key focal points:

    1) a heightened awareness that you are at your highest action state when you feel the best.

    When those feelings of inspiration and motivation are streaming through your mind, body and soul, all of your’ action gimbals’ are aligned, making you an unstoppable force – at least, momentarily;

    2) the discipline to take action whilst experiencing this peak action state.

    The temptation is to experience the inspired, motivated state – the feelings – and maybe think or talk about the possibilities of what action *could* be taken, but postpone actually following-through.

    The trouble with this deferral is that the feelings that sparked the drive for action become quickly dissipated.

    That’s just a summary – we can unfold this in future discussions.

    Best to you,

    Robin

    :)

  • / Scott Gould

    Wow. This is incredible!

    I like point 2 especially – the discipline to take action when you feel this peak state.

    That’s a key right there. Once someone feels in that possibility state, we need them to act right there and then.

    We shall indeed discuss this further!

  • mollyflatt

    Good, good times.

    To use some old-school Mihály Csíkszentmihály language, we were totally in the flow. A bunch of social marketing people being unselfconscious? Surely not. But we were there in that space and place 100%, and so free to be our full creative selves.

    By being looked after so well by Scott and Drew, we could actually relax, laugh and think.

    Gosh.

  • http://www.lomilomiuk.com/ Julie Bladon

    http://www.lomilomiuk.com/page9.htm

    Check out the 7 principles of Huna, the ancient Hawaiian philosophy.

    Kala (Be Creative) – There are no limits
    Manawa (Be Here) – Now is the moment of power.

    Interesting stuff and very relevant for today’s changing world

    :)

  • / Scott Gould

    I just want to be back there!

  • jonnybgood

    I think I understand what you’re getting at: I feel I understand my brother-in-law better from a chat yesterday as much due to the tone of the conversation as the actual content.

  • billannibell

    Great post and points…

    Your example of the following truly has my gears grinding this AM:

    “I think of conferences where we often find organisers and speakers cramming content down throats, without thinking about how those attendees will feel about the event as a whole.”

    First, so very, very true! Second, one rarely remembers the specific content but remember the emotion and energy of any particular conference one might attend. This makes planning of said conference even more pivotal should the organizers want to make this a regular event. Not necessarily an easy task, but a crucial one!

    Great stuff, keep it coming!

  • / Scott Gould

    Very good. Like Robin says below, we need to ACT in the moment. This does seem to be a recurring theme – to act immediately and not postpone

  • / Scott Gould

    Totally. This video is good on it too: http://d.tumblr.com/post/449952116/a-must-watch…

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey,

    Totally. People don’t remember the content as much as they remember the feeling. This does take a massive change in how we thing about events – starting with planning for the participants first!

    Thanks for the kind words

26th March, 2010

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