Say It Again and Be Memorable

If you want your audience to remember something, say it again … and again … and again.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech of March 28, 1863 stays with us today … at least the title does … “I Have A Dream.” Now, how many times did he say that line?

Eight! Eight times with intervals in between. Smart.

Speaking of smart, they’ve done experiments with students studying for tests. They had one group cram the night before and another group was shown the information in spaced intervals over a longer period of time. Who did better on the test?

Right! Not the crammers. In fact, they did way worse.

Here’s the key. We learn the best when information is introduced in greater depth each time, in fixed, spaced intervals.

Jam it in all at once … we don’t remember it. Repeat it several times with space in between … bingo.

Now, it doesn’t matter whether this is content that’s delivered in greater depth each time, or a mantra (a phrase repeated over and over), or music. A song works on the same premise – the memorable words are always in the chorus and the chorus repeats at least 3 times – the most memorable songs repeat the chorus over 5 times …”Here Comes the Sun…da da da da da.”

Two more things before I let you go.

  • One. Your talk should be about one thing . . . a theme, mentioned over and over and over. Because by the fifth mention, it will have sunk in.
  • Two. Don’t cram too much information into your speech. Make it simple. Because the brain can only hold so much at one time.

Want to be memorable? One major theme. Over and over again. Or nobody will remember what it was about … and nothing will happen.

"Brain Rules" by John Medina

The information on the study of school kids who cram came from one of my favorite books, John Medina’s “Brain Rules.” You can find it on Amazon at Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

This is a book with lots of depth and very simple rules for being very effective in presentations. I finding myself referring to it over and over again.

The video above, along with this article are part of the 52 video series, Convince and Close. You can find out how to get a video a day sent to your inbox by clicking here.