Writing a Speech that is Clear and Concise

March 22, 2008

Speakers who can simplify their Made To Stick.jpg message through clear and concise examples have a far greater positive impact on there audiences. Instead of using multiple examples to illustrate a single point, it’s often best to use one very powerful example, and run it through the “Sinatra Test.”

The Sinatra Test, coined by Chip and Dan Heath, co-authors of the NY Times bestselling book Made to Stick, refers to the singer’s classic “New York, New York.” In the chorus, Frank Sinatra sings about starting a new life in New York City, and declares “if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.”

The Made to Stick authors elaborate on the point by suggesting if you run a security company that has provided security for Fort Knox, there is no other credential you need to prove your credibility to another potential client. In other words, this one example alone is powerful enough to establish credibility, that no additional examples are necessary. Therefore, it passes the Sinatra Test.

By using an example that passes the Sinatra Test, a speech will have the clarity and simplicity to keep an audience attuned to your message.

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