May 9, 2012 Jason Vernon

The Hook: How to Make Any Idea Extraordinary

by Len Wilson, contributing writer

Many leaders are secretly insecure about their creativity. They develop solid, accurate content but it doesn’t really inspire. Typically, the missing ingredient is a good hook. The hook is the central metaphor that holds up your entire idea. It’s the key to making any idea extraordinary. Creating compelling hooks is not a master skill. Any leader can learn to do it with practice. Here are a few tips to creating a good hook:

  1. Make It Exact. Good hooks start with specific concepts. They provide tangible solutions to market and emotional needs. A market need is a problem that needs to be addressed. An emotional need is the gut feeling, often fear, that drives your audience. Always ask yourself, “What problem does this idea solve?”
  2. Make It Visual. A Japanese-American leader compiled a document to improve the leadership skills of the pastors in his care. The document read like a dissertation. The concepts were helpful but boring. One key concept repeatedly surfaced in the material: leadership can be improved. While exploring ways to visualize the key idea, I remembered the word kaizen, a post-World War II corporate concept that many credit with the resurrection of Japan. It is a compound word: the first symbol, 改, “kai,” means “to change, to correct;” the second symbol, 善, “zen,” means “good.” Together, kaizen roughly means, “continuous correction and improvement.” The key theme quickly became, “Spiritual Kaizen: How to Become a Better Church Leader.” We used Japanese symbols to create striking images that helped the leaders remember the key message.
  3. Make It Intriguing. Offer just enough to capture a person’s interest. Don’t waste time explaining every idea. Raise questions rather than answering them. Hooks intrigue people and make them come back for more.
  4. Make It Authentic. The hook needs to be indigenous to you and to your audience. The same concept may not work with different audiences.
Take a deeper look at your content. Does it have a strong hook? Is it visual and indigenous? Does it meet a specific need? Consider taking these steps if you want people to connect with your message.

Visit Len’s blog to find out more about his ministry. You can also follow Len on Twitter.

Jason Vernon

Jason is the Director of Content Development for The Unstuck Group. He graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Marketing and a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. He also received an MBA from Lynchburg College. Jason was a Marketing Consultant for over 7 years. He currently serves as Communications Director at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA.

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