Two years ago, cartoonist Scott Adams shook the brains of ordinary Americans, pundits, and “experts” when he called Trump a “master persuader” who would win in a landslide, while everyone else called him a “clown.” People said a cartoonist knew nothing about politics. Well, it turns out he knew a lot more than the “experts.”
You’re probably wondering, how can a cartoonist predict the greatest upset in political history and leave the “experts” scratching their heads? All the answers are in Scott Adams’s new book Win Bigly. In this book, the Dilbert cartoon creator details his knowledge in persuasion, hypnosis, and psychology as he dissects Trump’s persuasion skills. It is one of the most fascinating, interesting, and engaging books you’ll ever read. Trust me, this book will actually change how you see the world.
The book starts with a lot of key concepts and background on the Dilbert creator. Adams explain why emotions – not facts – are key to persuasion. He delves into his two biggest concepts – confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance – which both basically explain how humans re-write reality to support their own pre-existing beliefs. Adams goes into these concepts and more in extensive detail. He does a superb job of explaining how these work, how you can spot them, and how you can recognize them.
Of course, what many skeptics of Adams ask is how he knows so much about persuasion. Why is he a credible voice of authority? Adams isn’t just a cartoonist. As he explains in Win Bigly, he is a trained hypnotist. He isn’t a phony hypnotist that dangles a clock in front of your face. He is actually trained in how humans think at a less obvious or “third-dimensional level” as he calls it.
For example, most people believe that we are rational 90% of the time and irrational for 10%. After hypnosis training, Adams realized we are irrational 90% of the time and rational for 10%. Don’t believe him? Ask yourself, do you believe that facts do matter? If so, when was the last time you persuaded someone by using reason, logic, and facts?
As Adams says, once you realize humans are mostly irrationally and emotionally driven creatures, then the world starts to make a lot more sense.
The final two-thirds of the book focuses on Donald Trump. Adams does a fantastic job of narrating the election from beginning to end by analyzing Trump’s persuasion. Adams discusses Trump’s many persuasive techniques, like the high-ground maneuver (when someone takes an argument out of the details and brings it up to a big picture we can all agree on), pacing and leading (when someone matches their audience emotionally to gain their trust and then lead them to a more moderate position), and many more.
All of the techniques are very interesting and remarkable. It’s hard to doubt the legitimacy of Adam’s analysis. He shows a clear pattern of Trump using these techniques throughout the campaign and his first year in office. These are the things Adams saw two years ago that nobody else did. The masterful usage of these tools of persuasion are why Adams predicted a landslide victory for Trump.
There is a lot to take-in in this book. If you are not an avid reader of Adam’s blog or viewer of his Periscopes, this book will blow your mind. Adams looks at the world through a “persuasion filter,” which is not common for many of us. Regardless, this book is not confusing. It’s not hard to read at all. Adams uses simple words and explains everything with great clarity. This all keeps the book extremely interesting and highly engaging. Many books bore me now. This book never bored me.
If you are still wondering how Trump won the 2016 election, I highly recommend this read. If you want to become a master persuader, you need to pick-up a copy. This book is a bible for persuasion. I’m a huge fan of Scott Adams, and I found many new skills and tools in Win Bigly that he hasn’t talked about before.
When you finish this persuasion guide, will you become a master persuader ready to be the next President? No. But, Adams will teach you some of the biggest, most powerful tools of persuasion. This book will teach you upgrade the way you look at at the world from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional lens. It’s up to you to choose how to use these tools, and how you use them could make the difference from winning small to winning bigly.