Does this situation sound familiar to you? You’re listening to a speech or presentation. Somehow you know, somehow you feel there is a message… somehow. But, if someone asked you about it only one hour later, you wouldn’t be able to nail it.
Your message is the most important sentence of your speech. Pay more attention to it; spend more time on refining it.
There are two approaches to creating your message.
One, you have some important message in mind. Then, you can build a speech around it.
Or, two, you have a great speech or presentation in mind. Then you’ll have to define a message based on that content.
Either way, every speech needs a strong message. Conflict mentor Tobias Rodrigues says that, A speech without a message is like a Messiah without a mission.
So, what’s a message?
The international speaker and trainer John Zimmer refers to the message as a one or two-sentence-summary of your speech. And according to the persuasive communication expert Conor Neill a message should have eight or less words.
You can find great inspiration in the world of advertising:
- A diamond is forever. DeBeers. 1948
- Connecting people. Nokia. 1992
- First in Home Improvement! The Home Depot. 1999
- Have it your way. Burger King. 1973
- I’m lovin’ it. McDonald’s. 2003
- Just do it. Nike. 1988
- Probably the best lager in the world. Carlsberg. 1973
- Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. M&M’s. 1954
Once you’ve defined the first draft version of your message, don’t stop there! Keep refining it. Make your message as sticky as Nike does. Just do it!
Next time someone will ask another member of your audience about your message one hour later, he’ll answer, The message was to stay hungry, stay young and stay foolish.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?