The phrase that pays: 3 ways to make your point stick
In my leadership speech, I tell the story of how I learned to better manage my staff.
“In 1975, I opened my first business. My staff quickly made it known what they thought of my leadership style by assigning me a few non-complimentary nicknames.”
“With my life savings tied up in this business and a ten-year lease, I realized I had to do something fast. So, I attended my first leadership seminar. The seminar leader said something I will never forget. It was as relevant in 1975 as it is in 2012. He said, “Your business is as good as your worst employee.””
After a pause to let that idea sink in, I ask my audience, “Isn’t that a terrifying thought while you are attending this conference for the next three days?”
3. The “Repeat After Me” Technique.
Often, it is helpful to give your audience the actual words for them to use when they repeat your message to their own team.
During a presentation on Exceptional Customer Service and using examples that incorporate “Two and Half Men” or “Quote Others” techniques, you can help cement the ideas, by recommending the following:
“When you leave this conference, you will be filled with enthusiasm and information that you’ll want to share with your team. After you tell them the best ideas for your company, say, ‘For the next few minutes, I would like you to tell me which ideas will be the most relevant to our company and how we can best incorporate them.’ As good leaders, you know your team will be more committed to the results if they help design the solution.”
This is how you can connect your entertaining stories to the reality of your listener’s lives and businesses.
Let Others Provide Your Phrase That Pays
There are few new Universal Truths, but unending ideas that can become fresh and powerful when aided by your stories and personal experiences, then summarized in your Phrase That Pays. Here are some ways to develop them.
- Listen to speakers and even read newspaper and magazine articles, trying to spot the Phrase That Pays – the point of wisdom, the sound bite, the foundational phrase. If there isn’t one, create one.
- Sometimes an audience can invent the Phrase That Pays FOR you. A presenter teaching good customer service asked the audience to tell stories about good and bad service. One attendee said she had complained to a Customer Service Department and heard, “Oh, that must be Anthony.” This indicated everyone knew a problem existed, but nothing was being done about it. So, “Oh, that must be Anthony” became the Phrase That Pays for that audience and subsequent ones when the story was retold.
- While phrases usually derive from stories, sometimes a dynamite phrase can send you looking for a story to present it. Here are some great phrases that I’ve encountered:
“Don’t focus on making a lot of money. Rather, focus on becoming the type of person others want to do business with, and you most likely will make a lot of money.” A. H. Fripp.
“If you roll out the red carpet for a billionaire, they won’t even notice it. If you roll out the red carpet for a millionaire, they expect it. If you roll out the red carpet for a “thousandaire,” they appreciate it. But if you roll out the red carpet for a “hundredaire,” they tell everybody they know.” Banking executive Gary Richter.
Get the idea?
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. For more information, go to http://www.Fripp.com, (415) 753-6556, @PFripp, or PFripp@ix.netcom.com.
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