What makes you most likely to hit the bullseye in darts? You become neither over confident or under confident. You simply breathe, aim, focus, and shoot, without over thinking or under thinking your throw. Really, you find a throwing sweet spot and let the dart sail through the air.
The same approach stands for effective communication to people you want to inspire. Don't overshoot or undershoot with the tone and ideas for your media. Instead, find the communication sweet spot that isn't too lofty or too boring.
Here's how I came to this conclusion.
I started reading Here Comes Everybody and bumped into the term plausible promise. It's defined as "a message framed in big enough terms to inspire interest, yet achievable enough to inspire confidence." The original idea was given shape by Eric Raymond—the theorist behind the open source initiative—but Clay Shirky adapts the idea for his book about organizing mass movements without an organization.
I found this idea fascinating, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is an incredibly difficult type of message to communicate, but extremely valuable if achieved.
So let's unpack this and see what happens.
If you aim too high...
Then nobody can see the target. And if they can't see the target, they can't hit the target.
If you aim too low...
Nobody will be inspired and will find something else to be inspired by.
Find the sweet spot!
The trick, then, is to drive down the middle of the road and avoid the ditches.
From my experience, people tend to drift towards one ditch or the other. Whatever ditch that is for you, try and find the middle of the road again and keep your eyes on the creative horizon.
Plausible promises just might be the way forward for you (and me) to better inspire and influence people. That's why ads like this work. They're inspiring enough to get us dream bigger, but not so lofty that think it isn't possible:
We are inspired by what we see and envision ourselves actually doing the various things shown in the video.
Because it's a plausible possibility.