Does your company need an extreme messaging makeover?
3. Use Startling Stats, Numbered Lists and Acronyms
People tend to remember memorable facts or numbers rather than theories or abstract ideas. Beginning with a relevant fact or statistic can be an effective way to grab the audience’s attention and provide them with an easy to remember point. Trident famously used the phrase “four out of five dentists surveyed would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum” in its advertising for decades. Why? It was a startling statistic that made a memorable impact. Trident provided a key takeaway that gained credibility with their key target audiences.
We also remember numbered lists better than a simple listing of facts. If you number points in accordance to importance or relevance, your audience will at least remember the top few points and maybe more. Think back to when a speaker used this technique and said they were going to talk about three major points. Once they said the first two, you were waiting for the third one. After the presentation, you probably even tried to remember the three main points to tell others who were not at the presentation.
Acronyms and abbreviations are also an effective way to help your audience remember things they might not normally retain. Within many organizations and industries, this practice is so popular that a maze of acronyms can actually lead to confusion. When that happens, you might find a CQI team is developed to focus on PI and maximizing ROI to reduce stress and avoid increased visits to doctors in the company’s PPO or HMO...so try not to overuse this tactic.
4. Get Them to Feel Something
Your messaging must make an emotional impact with your target audience. They have to feel something.
When we listen to a political candidate, entertainer, coach, religious leader or rock star, we typically feel something. We are emotionally tied to the subject and the speaker. These communicators know how to stir emotions and engage their audiences.
While you might not see yourself as a rock star speaker or your message to the level of a coach or politician, you still need to think about how you can make an emotional impact on your audience. Don’t fall back on the same old corporate speak. Do you touch on emotions like excitement, fear, happiness or sadness? If not, you are reducing the likelihood of your message resonating and being remembered for more than a brief time.
Touch emotions to capture people’s attention. Focus on what the audience stands to lose as well as what they stand to gain. Put the message in their terms and focus on the impact on them, positive or negative.