The phrase that pays

In public speaking we always say that your speech needs something sticky, something that people will easily remember, something to hang on to when the speech is over.

But how to be sticky?
One way is to have ‘a phrase that pays’, a short line that boils your message (or what you stand for) down to its essence.

I found myself thinking this morning:
Did Hilary Clinton have such a phrase?

Nothing came to mind.

And Donald Trump?
“Make America great again.”

He had a phrase that pays.
And so, of course, did Obama.

Does it decide an election?
Not on it’s own.

Does it influence the result?
I am sure it does.

It’s another (if scary) reminder that having a ‘phrase that pays’ really pays.

About Carsten

Hi, I am Carsten Wendt. I help people make their writing more exciting. I am also a passionate public speaking coach and Humorous Public Speaking Champion of Belgium.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Turley November 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

I think it also helped Trump to have audience that is very religious, having a good deal of hate and are racist . You cannot prevent football teams from scoring an own goal 🙂

It is hard to know what Hillary could have done expect to move more against globalisation and made this a centre part of her speech. Too many people saw her linked with wall street. e.g. “Real Jobs for America”


Julie Kertesz November 9, 2016 at 7:01 pm

indeed, a phrase that stick is important
and also “play depending to the audience”
– which he did –
and he does know rhetoric !

any took is neutral, can be used for different things
a knife can cut… bread or someone else


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