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Make yourself memorable

Inject pizazz into your personality

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

You can talk a good game, but if you want others to listen to you, jazz up your remarks.

Being memorable matters most when you need to gain compliance and ensure that your instructions or observations sink in. You can always talk slowly or repeat yourself as if you’re addressing a group of preschoolers, but that won’t endear you to the team. Here are some better approaches:

Tell a story. Parables can help you drill home complicated ideas in a lively and enthralling manner. Storytelling works as a management tool because it lets your listeners grapple with your point and draw their own conclusions. For example, Abraham Lincoln told homespun stories as a way to talk self-important military generals into following his orders. If you lecture people or bark commands you can trigger resistance.

Use “me, too” statements. If you want someone to pay careful attention, preface your remarks with a comment that establishes a common bond. Examples: “I faced that same problem. . .” “I asked my boss the same question. . .” “I’ve wondered the same thing. . .” Then proceed to share your findings or experience. By validating what you hear before you respond, you show the other person that you identify with and respect what they’ve just said.

Label your points. Prepare catchy titles to describe your ideas. Think in terms of chapter headings, advertising slogans or even celebrity names. A marketing manager tells us he makes new product rollouts exciting by creating a “code name,” such as “the Rocky Balboa” (with the theme of an underdog trying to unseat the No. 1 market leader) or “the Beverly Hills” (a value-added high-end package).

Identify three key elements. Most people can easily absorb ideas grouped in threes. So leave your listeners with three major points. Say, “If you remember just three things from my comments, they should be. . .”

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