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Ensure people remember your key messages

Tags: Be interesting | Meetings | Impact | Leadership | Influencing

19th September

Comedian Bob Monkhouse used to say presentation skills were all about your ABC and XYZ:

  •  Always Be Confident
  •  eXamine Your Zipper

Good advice.

And my wife Emma read lots of baby books when our daughter Maia was born. But, when she had Tom four years later, she didn’t need to re-read one of them ‘Secrets of the Baby Whisperer’. Because she remembered its advice about making things EASY:

  • Eat – when the baby wakes up, feed her
  • Activity – after the food, encourage her to do something
  • Sleep – after the activity, put her to sleep
  • You – when she’s asleep, do something you want to do

And now a communication example: when people ask me for an easy way to prepare commu¬nication, I tell them to RAMP it up:

  • Results – start your prep by identifying your desired result – what you want the recipient to do after they’ve read/heard it. This will become your Call to Action at the end of your communication
  • AFTERs – then, think why they’ll be better off AFTER doing this action. Use this to engage them at the start of your communication
  • Mechanism – then, work out the best way to deliver the communication (email, meeting, presentation)
  • Preparation – after you’ve done RAM, start preparing the detail

Initial letters put into a word – RAMP, EASY etc – help people remember lists. So, very useful if you have a few points you want someone to remember.
There are only four steps to doing this:

  1. Identify the key messages you want them to remember
  2. Highlight the initial letters of these messages
  3. Put these initials into a word (use an online anagram generator if it helps)
  4. If you can’t get an anagram, find synonyms for your original messages, and repeat #1-#3 with new initials

So, here’s how I used these steps to arrive at RAMP. I started off with:

  • Do – what you want people to do afterwards
  • Benefit – why they’ll benefit from doing it
  • Channel – which communication channel you’ll use
  • Preparation

Now, no anagram generator is going to do much with the initials DBCP. So I thought of other words I could use instead:

  • Do, objective, aim, result
  • Benefit, AFTER, aid, help
  • Channel, mechanism, process
  • Preparation, create, write, narrative

And, from the various combinations of initials, I ended up with RAMP.

Well, it was either that or DAMN.

Action point

Got a few important messages you want people to remember? Try this ‘initials’ technique – if it’s appropriate for that message/audience, of course.

And, for lots more simple ways to be memorable, click on the Golden Key here.