Writers and presentation coaches learn them instinctively. Educators and authors, Chip Heath and Dan Heath documented them in their book “Made to Stick.” I fashioned them into the S.E.C.R.E.T.S. to making messages memorable.
S. Keep it Simple. Get to the core of what you want your audience to remember and put it into a sound bite. It’s not easy but it is effective. Think of “Just do it.” Once we hear it, it’s a no-brainer. A trick to help: when you think you’ve gotten to the core ask “Why?” or “What’s behind that?” Then repeat, repeat, repeat.
Remember the essence has its own energy. An outside ear is a big help.
E. Make it Emotional. People may or may not remember facts, but they remember how you make them feel. Get to the heart of the matter. Why should your audience care about you or your message? How can you get them to experience that? Tie it to your facts and they will remember.
C. Are you and your message Credible? An audience has to trust in order to care. What is going to make your audience feel like you are trustworthy? The real deal? Bring your Cred to the game.
R. Keep your message Real. Put your message into the reality your audience lives day to day. Yes, that means you actually have to know the reality your audience experiences.
E. Add the unExpected. Nothing attracts our attention faster than a surprise. Whether it is a turn of phrase, an image, a sound or an event, we enjoy the unexpected and we remember them! How can you bring your message in a way that’s unpredictable? If I believe I know what is going to happen next, I have left the building.
T. Create a presentation that’s Tangible. We have 5 senses... at least. Touch them all! We remember the visceral. The more senses touched, the greater the chance we’ll remember. Great story tellers bring the senses alive.
S. Tell your story through Stories. Stories provide context to your message. They capture our imagination, inspire us, warn us and enliven us. Stories are the lifeblood of cultures, families, histories and BRANDS! Tell us your story, make it our story.
When messages are told that are
Tangible and delivered through
They become unforgettable.
Let's aim for that.
Check out the book “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
A special thanks to Tim Wilkins, graphic artist extraordinaire, who worked with me guiding presenters to new heights of creativity and effectiveness and afterward introduced me to “Made to Stick” as kindred spirits. “You will so love this book.” And he was right. I did.