How to Use Quora to Build Your Brand (Part 2)
What are the most effective methods for answering questions on Quora? A good story, evidence to prove your point, and the single most popular method of persuasion. The Public Speaker shows how to use the elements of good storytelling and this powerful persuasive technique to build your brand on Quora.
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In a previous episode, we talked about an amazing site called Quora. This week we continue on this topic by discussing the most effective ways to build your brand on Quora. We’ll talk about the elements of good storytelling, how to make your point stick, and an effective way to persuade your audience to comply with a request.
When New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor answered the Quora question “What is the single most illuminating question I can ask someone?” she didn’t really answer the question. Instead, she stated that there’s no single good question. Her main point was that instead of using generic hypotheticals, the best questions should be researched, specific, and brief.
Use the Elements of Good Storytelling
Jodi Kantor went on to prove her point with two very different examples. In her story about interviewing the First Family, she uses some basic elements of good storytelling to prove her point:
The back story/setting: We learn how Jodi Kantor came up with the question she asked the Obamas.
“I had come to understand that equality was a serious issue in the Obama marriage, and that in the White House, the president and first lady are not treated in the same way at all.
So I summoned up my nerve and asked them, ‘How do you have an equal marriage when one person is president?’”
The obstacle: This wasn’t a typical interview question. Getting the answer wasn’t easy. Kantor shows this with step-by-step action and dialogue
Step-by-step action: The action keeps us reading.
“He tried. Barack Obama is normally so eloquent, but he botched his reply three times, stopping and starting over . . .
Then Michelle Obama stepped in to rescue him.”
Dialogue: The dialogue makes this story more relatable and personal.
“The first lady immediately made a sound like ‘hah!’ as if she was glad someone was finally asking that question.
Finally on the fourth try he half-joked that his staff was more concerned with satisfying the first lady than satisfying him.”
Details: The details help us feel like we’re in the room witnessing the interview.
Make Your Point Stick with Point Evidence Point (PEP)
An extremely effective way of getting your point across is the “Point, Evidence, Point” technique that I call PEP. You can’t simply make a point and expect it to stick with your target audience. You make your point, then give evidence to support your point, then summarize your point at the end.
In Jodi Kantor’s response, she gives two examples to support her point. (By the way, I call that PEEP!) She follows her story about the Obamas with a more personal example to drive her point home – interviewing a babysitter.
“For instance, when I hired a babysitter for my daughter, I used the same interviewing techniques I do in reporting and made the questions as concrete as possible: ‘Were you looking after a child on 9/11 and how did you react to the emergency?’ Also ‘What's a good lunch for a toddler?’ The sitters who said nuggets and fries were out; the one who said she was a vegetarian who would be happy to cook healthy food is still working for us seven years later.”
That’s exactly how you use PEEP—with an example that many people, in this case parents, can relate to.
For more on PEP, check out my previous podcast How to Make Your Point Stick.