It’s easy to forget what you heard 10 minutes ago, 10 hours ago or 10 days ago. So how can a speaker compete with the short attention span of a distracted, overworked audience? How can you leave a lasting impression on people who need to hear what you have to say? Well, there are five ways to be a memorable speaker.
Songwriters have the recipe. The most memorable part of a song—the words that get stuck in your head—is the hook. Those words are easy to repeat, easy to remember, and hard to forget. My friend, John Watkis, even wrote a book—Speaking Notes—about the similarities between songs and speeches.
But you don’t have to be a songwriter to add five key ingredients to your message to make it unforgettable. Just follow this formula: 3 R’s + 2 U’s = 1 Hook
How do I know this formula works? Well, I heard a hook from one of my speeches yelled at me as I walked across a stage to get a certificate in January. Why were people at a National Speakers Association meeting in Tampa, FL yelling “hot sauce” to me? They remembered the hook I used in a 7-minute speech two months earlier—“Passion is the hot sauce that energizes your presentation.” So, yes, hooks can stick like glue to your audience.
What does this formula—3 R’s + 2 U’s = 1 Hook—mean? To make your message memorable, create a phrase (in 10 words or less) that sums up your main point. Your catch phrase or hook should have five key features. It should be:
- REPEATABLE: Make your phrase easy to say. Let it rhyme or have a rhythm that rolls off your tongue.
- RELATABLE: Your phase should carry a meaning that your audience can relate to. It should express an authentic fact or experience.
- REMEMERED: It should be easy to remember.
- UNIQUE: It should capture your message and remind your audience of the unique experience they had with you.
- UNIVERSAL: The phrase should be true for many people, situations and experiences.
So how can a speaker compete with the short attention span of a distracted, overworked audience? Create a memorable message with a “hook” baked into your presentation. Repeat your hook several times during your presentation to make sure it grabs the attention of your audience, they have fun hearing it and they enjoy saying it.
Your hook is the take-away message your audience will repeat and remember. Have you ever used a hook in a presentation? Try it and see if it makes your message more memorable.
You’ll find more ways to leave a lasting impact on your audience in the Better Speaking Skills Newsletter. Get quick training videos and easy-to-use speaking ideas in this free resource. To boost your image as a leader, sign up for monthly tips, tools and presentation strategies at https://betterspeakingskills.us/