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Shit sandwich – Praise burger

The good thing with marketing people is that they will always try to pass their messages in the best, sweetest possible way.

I often give feedback on presentation techniques given by engineers.

How do you understand what’s really behind the words of a marketeer?

Here’s a few tips on how to interpret those words:
1) “You were perfect.”

- I did not watch the presentation.
- I fell asleep and I am hungry now.
-Just go away.

2) “Good.

Slide 15, just put the scale.

I feel it would be easier to understand the message.

Otherwise, really good.”
-I woke up at slide 15, noticed something I could bitch about, went back into trance-mode.

3)”Very exciting.

You really go into details to give us the full picture.”

-You lost us in  the first minute when you’ve shown a math formula on a slide. A MATH FORMULA on a slide! You should be shot. Don’t use presentations like crutches.

I could go on forever on the subtle back-handed compliments that could spice the days in a cubicle, but just let me tell you about a specific technique.

The shit sandwich.

Imagine you have to pass a message. Imagine it is absolutely bad. It is basically an insult to your audience.

The shit sandwich.

Just sandwich your insult between two compliments. It will go through like a charm.


4) “The presentation had no spelling mistakes in there and the grammar was impeccable.

Your presentation is an insult to the audience intelligence and we all think you’re a fraud. 

I like your tie, is it made of silk?”

Notice how the insultee will be taken off guard following a compliment… Right time to push in for the insult.

Then another compliment will ease the pill, and a question will immediately prompt a response on the compliment – not allowing to react on the insult.

As a funny anecdote, I heard this technique was also called “Praise Burger” which gives it a really nice name for such a devious technique.

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4 Comments to "Shit sandwich – Praise burger"

  1. April 6, 2011 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    “Slide 15, just put the scale. ”
    Hearing it from a markeeter sounds just wrong!

  2. V V's Gravatar V V
    April 17, 2011 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I used to make slides in black and white for technical presentation.
    The engineers on the airline side understand them better.
    I’m not kidding.

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