Six Tips to Make Your Message Stick

Whether you’re a recording a video, designing a user interface, or just talking with a friend, you’ll need to help your audience remember your message. Here are six tips to make your message stick:

  • Use descriptive image words
  • Remove distractions
  • Remove unneeded details
  • Add gestures
  • Use Unusual Material
  • Use New Material

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Use descriptive image words

People remember images more easily than words. “The colossal blue arch stood strongly after millennia” is better recalled than “the gate stood.” If you’re designing an interface, a picture and text is better than either a picture or text alone.

Remove distractions

This may seem basic, but it really does help people remember: remove distractions so your audience can focus on the message. For example, when designing a website, limit the number of visual weight on the sidebars (remove attention-grabbing advertisements!). When speaking, be sure that you can be heard over background noise.

Remove unneeded details

If a detail isn’t necessary, don’t mention it. It’s easier to remember a single important idea than a hundred facts.

Add gestures

When speaking, add gestures. Many great orators use their entire bodies to emphasize key points.

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Use Unusual Material

People tend to forget each individual leaf that they’ve seen. There are millions of them. But if you see a Unicordion, you’ll remember that creature for years.

Use New Material

People remember material that is new. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. Humans that could recall novel ideas were more likely to adapt successfully in a changing environment.

Making Your Message Stick

Thanks to Dr. John Daly, Dr. Samuel Gosling, and Dr. Jamie Pennebaker, for inspiring this blog post. Remember these six tips to help your message stick:

  • Use descriptive image words
  • Remove distractions
  • Remove unneeded details
  • Add gestures
  • Use Unusual Material
  • Use New Material
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