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Making Your Message Memorable

I listen carefully to what people say to me after I speak. If they say, "Boy, I wish I could speak like you," then I've failed. But if they say, "I'm not going to forget that," then I've succeeded.

I speak only to change behavior. Making a speech is not an accomplishment; changing behavior is. But to make a lasting change in behavior, I need to make my message memorable. How can I say it so people will remember?

The missing third element

Some say, "If you want people to remember, tell stories." Beginning preachers are instructed to illustrate each point with a story.

It's true that good stories stick in the memory. But to really help people remember, I find I need to move beyond point and story to add a third element. I call this an "essence statement." You might also call it a "handle," because it gives people a way to hold on to the concept. Some people even call it a one-liner or proverb. But whatever the name, an essence statement is a simple, memorable statement that capsulizes a ...

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