Tuesday Tips

Sign up for FREE Tuesday Tips

How to be memorable (with a QUIZ!)

Tags: Be interesting | Impact | Sales | Influencing

27th March

Let’s play a game this week…

Here are a list of words. Please read them just once, then answer the four questions underneath:

Hen
Bus
Brown
Hit
Potato
Then
Up
Seven
Then
Car
Six
Farm
Then
The Wizard of Oz
Then
Blunt
Yellow
Top
Then
Flute
High
Tar
Horse
Tailor

Now here are the questions. Please answer without looking back at the list of words!

  1. What were the top five words?
  2. Which word appeared more than once?
  3. What was the film title in the list?
  4. What were the last five words?

The answers are:

  1. Hen, Bus, Brown, Hit, Potato
  2. Then
  3. The Wizard of Oz
  4. Flute, High, Tar, Horse, Tailor

These four questions mirror the four ways people remember things, in that we remember:

  1. The first things we see
  2. Things that are repeated
  3. Things that stand out
  4. The last things we see

With most people, the worst of these is the final one – the last things we see.

In other words, we are more likely to remember things we see first, or are repeated or are outstanding, compared to them being at the end. Were you the same?

And the relevance to communication?

Well, when do people summarise their main points?

That’s right: at the end.

But that’s when most people’s memory isn’t so good.

So, next time you’re communicating…

Action Point

To ensure people remember your main points:

Identify what your main message is.

Say it in each of these four ways – right at the start (so, include it in your title and your first sentence), repeat your message, give an outstanding example and finally re-state it at the end.

That’s by far the best way of making sure people remember things. After all, when you put your main message in the middle of paragraph 12… well, that just gets forgotten. If it even gets read at all.