The Five Elements: Memorability

Image: Stacey D (flickr)

In November I ran a workshop called “The Five Elements of the Perfect Speech” and I enlisted three other speakers to present it with me. When it came to the memorability section, Peter stood up and told a story about how hearing a particular song for the first time made him feel and how the memories of these feelings would stay with him forever. He played the song and for a whole minute everyone listened to the song with him. Then he began to sing. He sung for a while before he asked everyone in the room to sing with him and then something magical happened, the audience began to sing..

I can guarantee you that of all the moments in that workshop, the one that everyone will remember will be the one where the whole room sang a song with the speaker.

Of course in a business setting getting your audience to sing might be more difficult…

Already by integrating the first four elements you have made your speech memorable for your audience – you’ve got a clear message, you’re passionate about your subject, you’ve made it relevant to your audience and you’ve involved them in a two way conversation/interaction.

What’s the one last thing that you need to do to make your presentation memorable?

You need to end well.

What does a good conclusion do?

It makes them remember you.

The sad fact is that the main thing (and perhaps the only thing) that the audience is going to remember about your speech or presentation is what you say in your conclusion. Delivering a dull lifeless conclusion will leave the audience thinking of you and your message as dull and lifeless.

There are many ways to end a presentation – but one of the most powerful is the “Call to Action”. You didn’t stand up and talk just so that people will do nothing with your information, you want them:

  • to take your information and use it,
  • to take your message and spread it,
  • to listen to your words and allow them to change their lives.

A call to action is a challenge to your audience to do something.

For instance, I don’t want you to read my Five Elements of the Perfect Speech, nod your head in agreement then forget them. I challenge you to store these 5 elements in your mind and the next time you prepare a presentation that you allow these five elements to guide you and enable you to deliver the best presentation that you have ever given, are you willing to take up my challenge?