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Framing Theory, Examples & Tips (Influential Communication)

Framing Theory, Examples & Tips (Influential Communication)

Framing is very powerful. How can you use this in your communication? In this article you will learn – on the basis of examples and theory – how to use this psychological technique. Read on to learn how to apply framing!

What is Framing? It is the best technique to impose your reality

Let’s give a quick explanation: to make framing easier to understand, you can take the English term ‘frame’ quite literally. And in many cases this concept works completely literally.

Framing is the stylish use of implications, presuppositions and reframes to make your communication more graceful and convincing.

An example is designer clothes: it is made of the same material as cheap clothes, but you bought the frame: you are a superstar in these clothes!

Eating with silverware in a nice restaurant makes the food worth more than the same food at a kitchen table.

You wouldn’t want to buy a bottle of water now that you’re just sitting at home – on the other hand, are you in a hhhhhhhooot desert … the sweat is dripping from your clothes and there is nowhere to see water – would you buy it for 10 dollars?

In the examples above, the frame made something more convincing .

  1. In example 1, the marketing feel of the label on the clothing was the frame, so that the fabric you want to buy suddenly becomes more valuable.
  2. in example 2, both the silverware and the restaurant were the frame, which gives the food on the plate a higher value than if you were to eat the frame of your own kitchen table.
  3. In example 3, the location was the frame. The same bottle of water that could be in your kitchen with a running tap becomes a lot more attractive in a hot desert.

You can also use this in your communication.

There are countless framing variations: check out this reframing article with 300+ examples

As you saw in the examples above, there are many different types of frames. For example, the desert has everything to do with context and the mark of everything has to do with meaning . We therefore speak of a context reframing or a meaning reframing.

This article explains just a few powerful framing techniques. All  other framing techniques can be found in this article about reframing.

Let others adapt to ‘your rules’ thanks to ‘pre-framing’

If you work with people and if you want to influence people effectively , it is important that you can create pre-frames . A preframe is the very first set of rules that everyone is aware of in a certain situation, so that everyone will adjust their behavior to respect the preframe.

What does this mean for you? How can you set up preframes?

  • If you give a training, tell the ‘rules of the game’ at the very beginning, in which, among other things, you set the framework that everyone will actively participate.
  • If you hire someone, you can use preframes for expectations management: ‘You must have done this before deadline x. That has been agreed upon.’
  • If you are trying to sell a house in a suburban area to a family who actually prefers to be in the middle of the city, you should mention as early as possible how suitable the house is as a family home, so that the house is ‘framed’ as a family home.

For more examples of preframes: see the article on expectation management. And again, for all the framing techniques, see this article on reframing.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!