Do you want to know how to be more persuasive? Joining us on YAP this week is Scott Adams, cartoonist and creator of the Dillbert comic strip who served as Trump’s “translator” during the 2016 presidential election. His book Win Bigly persuasion takes a deeper look at what it takes to be a master persuader and how this skill helped Trump win the election. 

Whether you are a salesperson or a math teacher, persuasion is a valuable skill used by everyone at some point in their lives. Scott Adams estimates that about 90% of the time we are able to make decisions rationally with reasons firmly rooted in logic, and the other 10% of the time we lose sight of reason. Therefore outside of the occasional misstep we are logical most of the time and therefore it makes sense to base most persuasive messages upon logical reasoning. This is important because keeping a message simple and straightforward makes it more likely that it will be remembered. 

As Scott Adams states during the interview: “If you keep things simple, you at least create a better chance that the important stuff will be remembered. So when President Trump says build the wall, that’s simple, and he repeats it until all you can think about is that wall. You picture it in your mind. You still might be opposed to it, but you know exactly what he wants. And part of good persuasion and good communication in general is that you want people to know exactly what you want, not approximately what you want. ” 

In this episode, Hala Taha and our guest, Scott Adams, discuss the strategies used in Trump’s 2016 election and share tips on what it takes to master the art of persuasion.  

For more on Scott Adams follow him on Linkedin at, on Twitter @ScottAdamsSays and visit his website at

The most powerful persuasion is fear. Because if you’re afraid of something, that’s the thing you have to act on first. It’s the thing you can’t put off until later. We evolved or we were designed, depending on your point of view, to have brains that respond first to danger.

What are we yapping about in this episode:

  • The role that luck plays in success [10:52]
  • Rationality and persuasion  [18:13]
  • Using fear as a persuasion tactic [32:41]
  • Being descriptive and illustrating a visual [35:00]

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