Strike a chord: How can a single line deliver the most impact during a presentation? [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
Speeches are written to create an impact.
Presentations are built to convey powerful messages.
Combined, both provide a wealth of information for the audience to use and take away from.
How do you leave a powerful and memorable message that strikes a chord with your audience?
Use a POWER LINE
— This is just one of the powerful secrets featured in James C. Humes’ book, “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln.”
Many of history’s greatest speakers have said one or two lines that have made a lasting impression in many generations.
These lines represent the very essence and meaning of the message they want to convey.
Some have been cited multiple times, quoted in other speeches, and became popular phrases used in other media like film and television.
That’s the significance of the Power Line: an important and strong statement in a speech that people would be able to recall.
If last week’s public speaking tip, the Power Point, helps you establish the main ideas and concepts of your speech, the Power Line helps bring these points together in a clear and concise statement.
To help you create a Power Line, you can follow the guideline from the C.R.E.A.M. technique.
Contrast, Rhyme, Echo, Alliterate, and Metaphor
Contrast – Using contrasting words, or antonyms, in a single statement is one way to get your point across a speech or presentation. Wisely positioning these words in the beginning and ending parts of your sentence gives more emphasis and impact. Here’s a literary example from famous American author Hellen Keller:
“Only by contact with evil could I have learned to feel by contrast the beauty of truth and love and goodness.”
Rhyme – Construct a Power Line with the use of rhyming. Commonly used in poetry and music, rhymes make your lines memorable. To quote author and journalist Grace Lichtenstein and co-author Sonny Bloch from their book, Inside Real Estate: The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Your Home, Co-Op, or Condominium:
“Work for a cause… not for applause. Remember to live your life to express, not to impress, don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.”
Echo – Utilizing the “Echo” is another powerful tool. You can strengthen your point by repeating the same word twice in a single sentence. Using repetition helps your message linger in your audience’s minds. Here is an example from former US President Barack Obama:
“Yes, we can, to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can.”
Alliterate – Alliteration means using multiple words starting with the same letter or sound in the same sentence or phrase. This is used to emphasize a thought or idea by catching the ear of the audience by using the right rhythm and mood. Here is an example from famous orator Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.”
Metaphor – Using metaphors is another effective way to create a great Power Line. Figures of speech are relatable and easy to understand. Using a play on words is something fun that many would remember. Here is an example from another former US President, Ronald Reagan:
“But there are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fullness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity as our birthright.”
History’s greatest speeches provide us with timely and timeless messages that have inspired and motivated generations of people over the years.
Adding a Power Line to your speech or presentation gives you a strong statement that your audience would remember. People might not remember a speech in its entirety, but they will surely remember the message and impact that it carried.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research
This content is used with permission from The I Institute and The Business Builder Daily.