A man walks into a bank with a gun in his hand. “Ok, everybody,” he shouts, “lie on the floor! This is a hold-up!” Some people obey immediately, but a few don’t. The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handful of bullets. “Get on the floor,” he commands. “I have a handful of bullets!” When that doesn’t provoke the desired response, the man begins throwing the bullets one at a time. The security guards quickly realize that the man has no bullets in the gun. They dodge the bullets the man throws at them, and quickly overpower him.
Why did this man fail to rob the bank? He had the necessary tools, namely the bullets and the gun. His problem, however, was that he used them separately. Each tool had some effect, but they did not help him accomplish his purpose when used alone. In most cases, tools need to be combined to make the greatest impact on your audience, whether people in a bank or people who read your documents. Continue reading