If you want to make sure that your message gets through to an audience, consider taking a lesson from the great marketers. They settle on a catchphrase and repeat it over and over, hoping to penetrate the public’s mind.

Many great speakers do the same thing.

One of the great recent advertising campaigns is from Geico. Most of you can probably repeat their catch phrase from memory: “Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance.”

We can remember that message because the Geico ads repeat it so often. And notice that they repeat it the same way every time.

You never hear them say, “If you spend 15 minutes on our website, you might be able to save 15 percent over your current auto insurance rates.” No. It’s the same way every time. Exact repetition helps the listener remember.

Great speakers do the same thing, focusing on a message and repeating a catchphrase. One of the most famous is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” He actually had two catchphrases in that speech: “I have a dream” (which he said nine times) and “Let freedom ring” (which he said 10 times).

King wanted to get a message across. So he repeated his key phrases to ensure that they made it into the audience’s mind. And like Geico, he repeated the phrases exactly, not changing a single word. King understood that great speaking is first and foremost about getting a message across to audiences that are often distracted. Repeating a catchphrase without any changes helps.

During your presentations, think about using catchphrases. Maybe it’s as simple as “Our brand is about saving money,” or “This program will increase your sales.” Be sure that you repeat the key phrase the same way several times. That way, you’ll be sure that your message gets across.

Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, speech@speechworks.net or on the web at www.speechworks.net

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