Cocaine and the science of attention.


Deep down humans are still animals. And understanding how animal survival instincts work gives you a real edge when you are creating presentations and selling your offers. The same basic responses and needs that helped our ancestors survive when they were primordial fish things still govern our behaviour today.

Dopamine is the chemical released in our brain by drugs like cocaine. It’s the way our body makes us want to keep doing something cool. It’s also released when our body encounters something new or interesting. That’s how our animal selves kept humanity evolving and learning. Those curious humans who investigated things got a little hit of dopamine as a reward whilst the oblivious ones were stomped to death by mammoths. 

You can give your customers little hits of dopamine throughout your sales pitch or presentation by keeping things fresh and interesting. Lingering on a slide or a point too long erodes the dopamine hit because it doesn’t last long in the brain. As it disappears, the body starts to feel pain. Not necessarily pain like a stubbed toe, but the discomfort of boredom. 

The animal in the middle of your brain hates any sort of pain and will retreat from it. That’s why you start to tune out when things get boring.


The best way to avoid this is to keep things moving. In a slide show, move quickly from slide to slide so there is new content for people to look at. We often find clients have some arbitrary rule of thumb that a 20-minute presentation should have 20 slides. That’s not always the case. If you’ve got something full of lots of dry facts break them down. Put each one on a new slide with a great image, keep it moving, keep the dopamine hits coming. 

And keep the attention.


This article was taken from our Book of Stun. For more on this and other cool stuff, order your free copy today.