The Chief Marketing Officer was half-way through her perfectly memorized presentation to the sales team when it hit her: no one was listening. All that time spent memorizing her speech so she could avoid a brain freeze, and look what she got: boredom.
Does this sound familiar? Putting way too much pressure on yourself to remember every word and sequence because what if you forget something? Look at the result: another forgettable presentation in which the thought cloud over everyone’s head is, “There’s an hour of my life I won’t get back.”
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: The best speakers prioritize resonance over recall.
We tell our clients to worry less about forgetting something, and focus more on a clear road map and dynamic delivery. This way, even if you do find yourself searching for your next point, your audience will happily forgive you. Remembering every word, number and bullet point will not guarantee a rapt audience.
A great technique to ensure a captivated audience is to preface your message points. This technique is called telegraphing. Think of your favorite comedian. He or she knows just how to set up a joke so the punch line really delivers. It’s the art of teeing up the important message so people are listening when you share it (we used this technique in the bolded text above).
Get ready to copy and paste the following examples of telegraphing:
“If you remember only one thing, remember this…”
“My next slide will clarify all the important elements of this presentation…”
“Grab your pen because you’re gonna wanna write this down…”
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret…”
“What if I told you everything you know about X is wrong?…”
“Here’s where we stand today…”
“I’ve got good news and bad news…”
Audiences rely on the speaker to navigate the journey from beginning to middle to end. If you want everyone to reach the final destination together, you’ll need more than name badges. Telegraphing is a surefire way to generate attention and be a more memorable speaker.
BONUS TIP: After you telegraph your message, pause silently to let it sink in. Then continue on with your presentation.