The Secret to Getting Your Point Across


“Friends, Romans, Countrymen….hello? Is this thing on??”

What is one of the most frustrating things for any communicator (and I mean any – teachers, trainers, marketers, bloggers, pastors, salespeople…)?

Our message doesn’t get across. It doesn’t “stick”.

The minds of our audiences are overloaded, and the noise level that surrounds us all continues to increase.

How do we break through?

Here’s the secret: you need a memory hook. Something pre-existing in the mind of your listener that you can “borrow” to create understanding and memory.

What is the current state of the minds of your audience members? It’s like a buzzing beehive. You’re competing with that noise.

What’s your message, which is so important to you? To us, it’s one more piece of junk mail stuffed in the mailbox.

See what I did there? I used two memory hooks – buzzing bees, and junk mail – to illustrate my point and jump right into your understanding.

Creating brand new spaces in the minds of people is insanely hard work. Stealing existing imagery is the best short-cut – especially if you only have a few moments to make your point.

Whatever it is you’re saying and writing, take a long pause. Look at the descriptive prose, and ask yourself – how can I illustrate? What’s a great metaphor? What’s a pre-existing memory hook I can exploit to get through?

Do I use long-winded explanations to demonstrate how my music amplifier is the premier offering in its class? Or do I sum it up with, “We’re the Mercedes of amplifiers!”

So, here’s your exercise. Look at this paragraph, full of technical details. How would you summarize the major point here to a layperson, in one sentence – what memory hook would get the job done? (put your idea in the Comments)

People put in so much effort and training to run a marathons. So it is with building our business and/or reaching our audience. But it is the final translation of all of our details into human-speak that gets us across the finish line, and into the minds of those we’re seeking to influence.

Recommended reading: Made to Stick


  1. Ronni Rubenstein says

    Heartsentry-to guard against heart disease and stroke

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