To create some memorable takeaways in your presentation, take time to carefully craft a few messages with catchy words. When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, he had to wait six hours and forty minutes before emerging from the lander to take his first step on the moon. He used that time to craft his statement. Phrases that have historical significance or become headlines don’t just magically appear in the moment; they are mindfully planned.
Once you’ve crafted the message, there are three ways to ensure the audience remembers it: First, repeating the phrase more than once. Second, punctuating it with a pause, that gives the audience time to write down exactly what you said. And third, projecting the words on a slide so that the message is received visually, as well as orally.
Below are a few rhetorical devices that create a memorable sound bite:
Imitate a famous phrase: Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Imitation: Never give a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through yourself.
Repeat words at the beginning of a series: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Repeat words in the middle of a series: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…” Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
Repeat words at the end of a series: “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address