Howard Hendricks, a teacher of teachers said, “To teach is to cause to learn.” Here are five steps for creating a statement so memorable that others can’t help but learn.
Five Keys to Quotability
- Keep it simple.
Do you remember that acronym K.I.S.S? It stands for keep it simple silly–or stupid–depending on the version that you learned. K.I.S.S. is a brilliant reminder that uncomplicated is better. The easier your words are to recall, the more quotable you will be.
- Make it memorable.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Jesus begins his statement by going one way, and then turns things upside-down. Being counterintuitive is one way of making a statement memorable.
Earlier this week, I met with a friend who is studying the art of memory. He tells me that the more unique the statement, the easier it will be to recall. If you can paint a vivid picture in the mind of your audience, you will be memorable.
Try asking, “What is memorable about my statement?” Is it…
- Ask, “Is it true?”
I heard a speaker say he had an incredible quote for his recently released book. He described this particular statement as “sleek, shiny, and sexy.” The only problem is that the quote was not entirely true. As a result, he removed it. This author is a man of integrity. Although flashy quotes are attractive, if they are not true, they will break our audience’s trust and ultimately do more harm than good.
- Be tweetable.
Twitter is powerful. It is an incredibly effective way of quickly spreading a message. Whittling a quote down to 140 characters or less can be challenging. Yet, it’s worth the effort. In short,
“Be tweetable, because tweetable quotes are spreadable quotes.” @jjurchenko.
Now, that’s a quote worth tweeting.
Value is key. Although “See Jane run,” is memorable, it doesn’t hold much significance unless you’re a kindergartener learning to read. So, before publishing your quote, be sure to ask yourself, “What value does this add to my audience?” Valuable quotes are simple but not simplistic.
Your Checklist for Great Quotes
To be quotable, start by narrowing down your next speech, blog post, sermon, or lecture to 3-5 key points. Any more than this will be difficult to remember. Then, reduce each point down to a single sentence. Thus, a speech with three main points will contain three key sentences. Finally, refine, refine, and refine some more. Rework each statement to the point that it is…
Then, watch the magic happen. Your audience’s faces will light up as they take in your content in an easily digestible format. You will also find that speaking comes easier because the information is well organized in your head. You can read more about the value that comes from being quotable in my previous post, The Two Words that Help Me Grow as a Speaker. Although being quotable is hard work, it’s well worth the effort!