Be more memorable

18th June 2013

People hear thousands of messages every day. How are you going to ensure they remember yours?

And what if you have 3-4 messages? How will they remember all of them?

Well, one way is to use acronyms, where you make the initial letters of your points into something memorable. Some quick examples…

  • In First Aid, you’re taught to remember ABC as the order to assess an unconscious patient – Airway, Breathing, Circulation
  • In the book The Baby Whisperer, the authors advise that mothers follow EASY steps when their baby wakes up – Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time.
  • To structure a persuasive argument, think of the 4Ps – the Position is… and the Problem with it is… so our Possibilities are… so I Propose we…

This often works well. The problem can be that people remember the initials, but not what they all stand for! (‘I know it’s ABC, but what’s the A mean again?’)

So, another technique is to make your messages rhyme. For example:

…Want people to improve how they communicate?

You could ask them to review their weekly communications, thinking ‘Groove, Improve, Move, Remove’ – if it’s brilliant, stay in your groove; if it isn’t, make it better, get someone else to do it, or stop it all together

…Want to give your managers a simple way of appraising their team?

You could ask them to grade each one as ‘Inspired, Required, Tired, Hired’ – to signify they’re doing brilliantly, doing only what’s needed, doing a poor job, or they’re a new hire and it’s too early to tell. Of course, if they’re too ‘tired’, another word that rhymes here is ‘Fired’!

There are others of course – telling impactful stories, using interactivity to help them discover the answers for themselves, and so on.

But, remember: to stand out from the crowd, you have to do something different to the crowd.

Action point

Identify the most important message you’re delivering today. Ask yourself: ‘Are my key points memorable enough yet? What can I do to make them stick?’

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