Here are three ways to make sure your article or blog’s main
points resonate with members.
By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Tying a powerful, repeatable
message to each major point in your messaging to members gives your association
a "phrase that pays.” The following are techniques that help to create or
identify your memorable phrase in articles, blogs, video, and more.
The "Two and a Half Men” Technique
One very popular sitcom on TV at
the moment is Two and a Half Men. Many people don’t realize that the
unusual titles of the episodes always occur in the dialogue of one of the
- Go East on Sunset Until You Reach the Gates of Hell
- If I Can’t Write My Chocolate
Song, I’m Going to Take a Nap
- The Last Thing You Want Is to
Wind Up With a Hump
- Did You Check With the Captain of the Flying Monkeys?
- Can’t Afford Hyenas
- Round One to the Hot Crazy Chick
- I Remember the Coatroom, I Just
Don’t Remember You
- Back Off, Mary Poppins
Viewers begin watching for the
title to occur in the show’s dialogue. If you are a fan, you can probably even
guess which character said each title. The actor’s dialogue amuses us and
cements the show. The brilliant writers know we—the audience—will go out and
retell the storylines. The result is that we add to the show’s success with our
word-of-mouth reviews and advertising.
So, how can this help you as a communicator?
When you give members a catchy, repeatable phrase—something funny, powerful, or
thought provoking—they will be eager to repeat it to others. When your power
phrases are attached to your content and examples, you will create an
ever-expanding network of people retelling your association’s key messages.
The "Quote Others" Technique
Let the wisdom in your writing
come from the actual advice or dialogue of others—not yourself. Reframe and
emphasize your own key points with the pithy comments of others. It is
important to let your audience know that you had to learn what they are learning,
and give credit to who passed on that knowledge. You never want to be the hero
of all your stories.
For example, in my leadership
speech, I tell the story of how I learned to better manage my staff.
I opened my first business. My staff quickly made it known what they thought of
my leadership style by assigning me a few non-complimentary nicknames.”
life savings tied up in this business and a 10-year lease, I realized I had to
do something fast. So I attended my first leadership seminar. The seminar
leader said something I will never forget. It was as relevant in 1975 as it is
in 2012. He said: ‘Your business is as
good as your worst employee.’”
After a pause to let that idea
sink in, I ask my audience, "Isn’t that a terrifying thought while you are
attending this conference for the next three days?”
Let Others Provide Your "Phrase
While phrases usually derive from
stories, sometimes a dynamite phrase can send you looking for a story to
present it. Here are some great phrases that I’ve encountered:
focus on making a lot of money. Rather, focus on becoming the type of person
others want to do business with, and you most likely will make a lot of money.”
A. H. Fripp
roll out the red carpet for a billionaire, they won’t even notice it. If you
roll out the red carpet for a millionaire, they expect it. If you roll out the
red carpet for a "thousandaire,” they appreciate it. But if you roll out the
red carpet for a "hundredaire,” they tell everybody they know.” Banking executive Gary Richter
Listen to speakers and read
newspaper and magazine articles and blogs, trying to spot the "phrase that
pays”—the point of wisdom, the sound bite, the foundational phrase. If there
isn’t one, practice by creating one.
Get the idea? You can develop unending ideas that
become fresh and powerful when aided by your stories and personal experiences,
then summarized in your "phrase that pays.” Developing a phrase, quote, or
anecdote that resonates with members will get your association’s stories told
again and again.
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, a speaker and coach, works with
individuals and organizations to help them gain a competitive edge through
powerful, persuasive presentation skills. She is past-president of the National