Less Is More

Whether you’re a professional public speaker or someone occasionally called upon to speak at company meetings… or to prospective clients… you want to make sure your audience quickly “gets” your message.

The way to do it is to brand yourself. In other words, to sum up your message with a brief, slogan-like phrase — and build your presentation around that phrase. Sort of like the way Rodney Dangerfield built his act around the hook “I don’t get no respect.”

Surf the websites of successful marketers and you’ll see how they are branding themselves — and their messages — for their fans and customers.

Yes, big companies like Coke do it (Coke is it!)… but that doesn’t mean the little guy can’t do it too!

For instance, I’ve branded myself as The Reinvention Guy and my message as Business Success Through Reinvention.

My fellow author and speaker, Dr. Matthew Norton, has branded himself as America’s Holistic Doctor. My colleague Mark Mayfield uses the slogan Solid Business Wisdom, Brilliant Comedic Style.

The beauty of using tag lines/slogans in your speeches and marketing materials is that your targeted audience will retain more of your message. Best of all, they will remember you.

Simply put, effective branding allows you to get into their hearts and minds!

Okay, let’s say you’re not a professional speaker. Let’s say you’re a hardworking staff member in an information marketing company. You’re spearheading an important sales promotion. And TODAY, you’re presenting your ideas to your tough-as-nails CEO.

You know your boss is a no-nonsense guy who’s not easily impressed. You also know that if you can communicate your ideas effectively to your boss, that can open more doors for you at the company… especially if the sales promotion is a — CHA-CHING! — success.

You have only has few moments to make an impact on your boss before he heads off to a jujitsu class and punishes an unsuspecting soul into submission. That means you have to come up with a phrase that instantly gets your message across.

Here are seven ways to accomplish your mission:

1. Ask yourself “What’s the main point I want to make?”

Let’s say you’re trying to sell a copywriting program to people who don’t know anything about the copywriting profession. You want to make the point that good marketing copy is vital to a company’s success. So your slogan could be something like “Remember — when it comes to making sales… Copy Is King!

2. K.I.S.S. (not the rock band)

The best slogans use five words or less. Think of “Ahnold” saying “I’ll be back!” or Dirty Harry saying “C’mon, make my day!”

In other words, K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple, Stupid!

You might remember that when Bill Clinton campaigned against George Bush, he used a slogan that was roughly based on that K.I.S.S. acronym: I.T.E.S. — It’s the Economy, Stupid! And if you were, say, selling a marketing program, you might do something similar…

If you want to exponentially grow your company year and year out, if you want a fail-safe method to accomplish this… you absolutely must adhere to the I.T.M.S principal — It’s the Marketing, Stupid!”

3. Use rhythm.

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

Slogans with a musical rhythm to them are easier to grasp, remember, and internalize. You know how easy it is to remember nursery rhymes — and how hard it is to get a favorite song out of your head. (“Everybody was kung-fu fighting!” Yes, I am aging myself now.) Same idea.

4. Create a slogan that fits your message — and only your message — like a glove.

Try not to use a slogan that’s been done to death — even if it is perfect for your message. Giving a speech on how to improve self-confidence in the competitive business world? How about “First Believe… Then Achieve”? Giving a speech on nutrition? How about “Look Before You Eat!”?

5. Play with words.

Reinforce your core message by expressing it in an unusual or fun way.

Words that begin and end with consonants, for example, seem to stick in the brain. One of my favorites: Wassssuuuuuuppp! Or Tony the Tiger’s: “They’re grrrrrrrrrrrrreat!”

Giving a speech on leadership to your local Chamber of Commerce? Try repetition: Be Accountable… Be Straightforward… Be Consistent!

Presenting  a new dog re-training manual to the head of a pet store franchise? Try a branding line that brings a smile to his lips: Give Your Dog a Whole New Leash on Life!

Speaking of humor… for some reason, “k” sounds and “p” sounds are funny. “Ketchup” and “cantaloupe” are funny words. And God bless you if you can somehow incorporate them into your slogan.

6. Tell ’em what you want ’em to do.

Your speech should inspire BUT also have a call to action. You want to motivate your audience to take the action that will give them the results you’re talking about. So if you can, try incorporating a call to action in your slogan. Nike’s “Just Do It” is a great example.

Brainstorm with verbs like “seize,” “capture,” “conquer,” and “grasp” to come up with a slogan with a powerful call to action. (Now, YOU can Master the Art of Persuasive Public Speaking and Earn High Speaking Fees!)

7. Tell ’em once and tell ’em again.

You should incorporate your branding phrase about six times in a 60-minute presentation. Always begin with it — and definitely end with it.

Brand yourself, brand your message. Rinse and repeat for continued success.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if, at the end of your presentation, when you’re mingling with members of your audience, folks start approaching you, slapping you on the back, and repeating your phrase over and over again. That’s when you’ll know you’ve done your job!

[Ed. Note: Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is a sales writer, corporate speaker, and award-winning humorist who has worked on over 18 television shows, including Married With Children, Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg, and HBO’s Comedy Central. He is a National Speakers Association Keynote Speaker who gives presentations to corporations and associations on reinvention, copywriting, and public speaking. For more information on his products and to sign up for his FREE 7 Days to Effective Public Speaking E-Course (a $75 value), go to www.publicspeaklikeapro.com.

Ready to see Peter’s public speaking rules in action? And get an in-depth look at how Early to Rise — and a dozen of the most successful Internet business builders — make millions each year? Then check out ETR’s Info-Marketing Bootcamp this November. At Bootcamp, you’ll learn the latest in e-mail list building, search engine optimization, front-end and back-end marketing, copywriting, online marketing strategy, and much, much more. And you’ll get to meet the experts in person.]