7 Hacks To Help Your Message Truly Stick In People’s Minds
Want to leave a lasting impact when you speak?
Well, a critical factor is that people can *remember* what you say.
If doesn’t matter how knowledgeable or confident you are, if people can’t remember much after you’ve presented to them, (e.g. they just remember the topic itself), you’re not going to have much luck inspiring change as a result.
Which should be the main goal of a speaker…
Also, you ideally want your message to be shared or cascaded to others. This can’t happen effectively if people can’t remember it.
So, here’s 7 hacks to help ensure your message stays in the minds of your audience, long after you’ve left the room.
#1 – CHUNK IT
I’ve written a lot about chunking in the past. But this is something that makes a massive difference.
As our short-term memory isn’t like that of a computer. We can’t remember lots of discrete information.
To bring this to life, I always share an example of giving someone a shopping list:
If I gave you a list of 9 items, but you then lost the list, you are probably going to struggle to get all 9 items. However, if I grouped those 9 items into 3 items under 3 categories, (e.g. Dairy, Bread, Fruit & Veg), you’d most likely be fine to remember them.
So, don’t cover more than 3 discrete points in a presentation. Chunk your information down and stick to the rule of 3s!
#2 – KEEP IT SHORT & SIMPLE
If you can boil a complicated topic area or problem / challenge down into one word, it can be highly memorable for your audience as it’s simply 1 word for them to remember.
Last year I read an Article about the importance of ‘Congruence’ in regards to the Delivery of a talk. It’s stuck in my mind forever since, because it was just one word.
I also subsequently shared this advice in an article myself recently and it was really well received.
Same with the closing of a talk. If you keep it to 30secs, instead of 2mins, it’s going to be far more memorable!
Another way to simplify something is to share an Analogy for it. Our minds love analogies as a way to quickly make sense of something.
#3 – REPEAT IT
Repetition is a super simple way to get people to remember something.
There’s a reason why you leave Simon Sinek’s talk with his saying in your head “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. Because he says it a total of 8 times!
Or why most people remember the “I have a dream” Speech from Martin Luther King. It’s because he says it 9 times throughout his speech.
You don’t have to repeat it as many times as these people, but if you want something to stick, definitely say it more than once.
#4 – TELL A STORY
Stories are proven to be more than 7 times as memorable as information.
They stick in our minds because they can generally be stored as a chain of events (rather than information), they’re stored as a visual representation (rather than words) and they touch on emotional aspects in our brain as well.
I can’t remember many of the presentations I sat through in the 10+ years I worked in the corporate world, but I still remember a lot of the stories I heard 10 years ago.
So if you want your information/point/message to be remembered long after you’ve left the room, tell a story.
#5 – INVOLVE PEOPLE
People love to get involved in your talk. One way to do this is to ask questions, but you can also run a fun exercise.
All the Talks / Workshops / Offsites where the speaker involved me, or where we got to do a fun exercise (with a ball or Lego or something like that) have always been enjoybable and have also stuck in my mind.
I make sure in any talk I give that I have questions, games & exercises. Whenever I ask people for feedback after the event, the thing they always mention as the best part are the games/exercises!
#6 – MAKE IT VISUAL
Our minds think, process and store visual things far better than we do text-based aspects. So, if you want people to remember what you’ve said, give them a simple visual representation for that.
One way to do this is to use visual aids (e.g. PPT Slides), or you could use a Flip Chart or a Prop.
I know I remember almost all of the presentations I’ve ever been to or seen, where the speaker used a prop. Because it’s hardly ever used and it’s highly visual!
#7 – USE YOUR VOICE
Your voice is a powerful tool that can help people pay attention to and then remember certain points over other ones.
i.e. You can focus your audience’s attention and memory on those things you really want them to retain.
When I run my Powerful Presenter Group Programs, I always ask people at the end of each session what their biggest takeaway was. Inevitably, whatever I’ve deliberately emphasised with my voice and paused dramatically after is one of the key things people mention.
If you want what you say to be remembered, follow these tips. I can guarantee it will boost the retention of information, by your audience.
Remember, it’s not about being a memorable speaker, it’s about having a memorable message.
Q – Which # Tip is your fave!?
Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 280 group coaching sessions, coached more than 250 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe.
She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas, build their brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!