Direct Marketing Article
Making Your Message Memorable: 5 Tips That
Add Value to Your Words
By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Some presenters think that if they talk longer, they are giving more value
or getting their point across more effectively, when in reality, audiences
of any size, from 5 to 500, are eager for content presented as efficiently
and memorably as possible.
One of my friends was a sales manager at the Fairmont Hotel in San
Francisco. He was a great salesperson one-on-one, but now he was facing a
group of ten. "I'm very nervous," he confessed. "How do I sell to so many
people?" A professional association was debating whether to bring their
convention to the city.
Below are the five tips I gave him to make his message memorable:
His audience was convention committee. When building rapport with an
audience, you need to emotionally and intellectually connect. Think of it
this way: logic makes you think, emotion makes you act. You intellectually
connect with your logical argument through specifics, statistics, charts and
diagrams. You emotionally connect through eye contact, stories, content that
creates a visual in the audience's mind, and "you"-focused (rather than
"I"-focused) language. This is incredibly important if you want to sell your
ideas, a product or service.
Don't be polite...get to the point.
"Let's step backwards," I said. "How long do you have for your
I asked him how he would start if left to his own resources. The sales
manager took a deep breath and began, "Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope
you're enjoying our hospitality. I know..." and he was off on a stream of
"You're polite," I told him when he finished, "and that's not a bad habit,
but you don't have much time. They know who you are because you've been
entertaining them. They know where you are. Make it about them.
I advised him to say, "Welcome and thank you for the opportunity to host
you. In the next seven minutes, you are going to discover why the best
decision you can make for your members and your association is to bring your
convention to San Francisco and the Fairmont Hotel."
Make your message sound valuable.
How valuable does your message sound? Just for fun, I had my friend choose
either to rehearse his presentation and time it or transcribe it. He
calculated the financial impact of his proposal, and the investment of his
prospect, and divided by the length of his presentation. That gave him a
dollar value for his words.
Then I asked, "What are you actually 'selling'?"
"Well, it isn't the Fairmont because if they come to San Francisco, they'll
definitely use our hotel. I guess I'm selling San Francisco because they are
seriously considering San Diego."
Then I asked him a question that rarely gets asked: "How much is it worth to
the Fairmont Hotel if you get their business?"
"Half a million dollars," he said.
"Mmm," I said, grabbing my calculator. "Let's see. Half a million dollars
divided by seven minutes—that's $1,041.66 a second, even when you pause."
Remove fluff and filler.
Naturally you want to remove all the unnecessary fluff and filler. For
example, avoid clichés like "each and every one of you in the room." How
often have you heard presenters say that? It's adding nine unnecessary
words! When you have made your message is clear and concise, divide the word
count by the amount of time needed to deliver your presentation. Notice how
much more valuable each word has become. Make every word count!
Watching the I-focused language, that is 7 'yous' or 'yours' and 1
'Fairmont.' He should continue with, "San Diego is a magnificent
destination, and you should definitely go there in the future. However, this
year you should come to San Francisco because..." and then list the specific
This is an emotional opening because it's 'you' focused. And because my
friend never disparages his competition, he's acknowledging that San Diego
is fabulous. He connected emotionally with his audience, and the logical
specifics connect him to them intellectually.
It can be argued that those polite opening comments are necessary, because
the audience is still settling down and not focused on you. This may be
true, but don't let it be an excuse. Go to the front of the room and wait
until you have their attention, maintaining a strong, cheerful gaze and
willing them to be silent. If needed, state the opening phrase of your
comments and then pause until all eyes are focused on you, awaiting the rest
of the sentence.
Logic sells, but close with emotion.
Continue a presentation with logical incentives, but end with emotion.
Remember that last words linger, and your goal is to be memorable.
Finally, I told my sales manager friend, "Imagine years from now when your
attendees are sitting around a convention lobby reminiscing about the best
conventions they've ever attended, and they talk about their experiences in
San Francisco at the Fairmont. And you'll know you were part of that
experience because you were on the planning committee."
Persuasive presentations give you a competitive edge. You now have eight
tips that add value to your words and make your message memorable. Use my
friend's model of how to emotionally connect in the beginning and end of a
presentation and intellectually connect in between. Plus, you will be making
your words sound more valuable.
About the Author:
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach, and
Sales Presentation Skills Expert, works with organizations and individuals
who realize they gain a competitive edge through powerful, persuasive,
presentation skills. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams, and
delights audiences. Fripp is Past-President of the National Speakers
Association. To learn more about Patricia, contact her at http://www.Fripp.com,
(415) 753-6556, @PFripp, or PFripp@ix.netcom.com.