Public Speaking: Creating Your Catch Phrase

One of the most powerful ways to get your message across as a public speaker is giving your catch phrase.

What’s that, you ask?

The catch phrase is that clear, concise, catchy, jingle-like, slogan sounding, and often rhythmic-in-nature verbal expression that paints a solid picture of your point. It could also be your point. It gives your audience an anchor to fall back on, or spring forward to as you’re telling your story.

Think about it: when you finish speaking you’d want your audience to absorb and remember everything you said. Truth is that’s nearly impossible. No matter how dynamic, inspirational or motivational you are, it’s not going to happen. They’ll forget most of your message by the time they reach for their car keys.

That’s where your catch phrase comes in…

Your catch phrase triggers their memory about a particular story or lesson. It gives your audience something significant to walk away with. It puts the “Oh, I get it now” response on their faces and in their minds.

Some examples of catch phrases would be:

“And time stood still;

“Not for sale – at any cost; and…

“For beginners only.”

Chances are you’ve heard a speaker go all over the place with her speech. Instead of moving you in one direction, she takes you into three or more. It’s more than likely she didn’t create her story around a simple catch phrase.

One of the keys to a memorable speech is to build your stories around your catch phrases. Most speakers, even many professionals, don’t do this. At best I don’t do it often enough.

But simplicity wins out over complexity every single time. And a catchy catch phrase is as powerfully simple as they come.

Let’s look at three ideas for creating your catch phrase:

1) The short stack.

Just keep it short and simple. No long or arduous sentences. Remember, a pithy and punchy phrase works better because it’s more catchy and easier to remember and also repeat.

2) The lo-tech vocab.

Avoid words that are hard to pronounce as in the ingredients on a cereal box. You wouldn’t want to create confusion or blank stares from your audience. And stay away from industry lingo unless you’re speaking to that particular industry.

3) The reason for the rhyme.

Rhymes within phrases are probably the easiest to remember. They’re cute, quick and require little effort to develop. There are even websites that help you search for rhyming words.

If you want your audience to remember you, your stories, and lessons, come up with a few catch phrases that tie-in with your stories. Or the other way around – build your story around a catch phrase. It’s one of the most powerful tools any public speaker can apply to enhance her message.

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Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy’s Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at

If you’re a speaker, trainer, coach, or a consultant, the major challenge you face is connecting with your audience. You talk, shout, or recite your message while they are dreaming about dinner. Their eyes are glossy, their minds’ elsewhere, and their bodies ready to bolt. You don’t have a lot of time, so you’ve got to grab their attention fast. Or else, you’ll die wrestling against audience resistance. Find out how.

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