Standing out amidst the crowd of communication chatter is getting ever harder in today’s world. How can you make your message memorable?
In Resonate, Nancy Duarte suggests giving your audience a STAR moment – ‘Something They’ll Always Remember’. Often involving some kind of physical prop, it’s part of your presentation or meeting so unexpected that it can’t help fail to stick in the mind of your audience.
One of the examples Duarte cites is Al Gore’s hockey stick graph in An Inconvenient Truth. In the clip below, Gore shows the steepling contribution of greenhouse gas omissions in the 20th century by stepping onto a hydraulic platform and elevating himself to the top point of his graph.
Here are four more STAR moments from movies that create a dramatic impression.
In Made in Dagenham, Ford worker Rita O’Grady attends her first meeting as a union representative with the plant’s senior management team. Challenging the notion that their work is ‘unskilled’, Rita produces samples of the materials that she and her fellow machinists work with and throws them onto the table. ‘You put them together,’ she invites her bosses. It’s a demonstration that makes her point far more effectively than words alone.
In Twelve Angry Men, Henry Fonda’s Juror 8 struggles to persuade his fellow jurors to reconsider their verdict on their defendant’s guilt. When they lay the ‘unique’ murder weapon on the table before him as their proof, Juror 8 takes an identical one from his pocket and slams it on the table beside it. It’s a dramatic demonstration that the ‘unique’ knife could easily be bought locally.
In Amistad, former President John Quincy Adams represents the slave mutineers at the American Supreme Court. At one point, Adams points to the Declaration of Independence on the wall and asks the court what they should do with it if they rule against the slaves. He then symbolically tears his papers in half. It’s a powerful, memorable gesture.
In Amazing Grace, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce reveals the support for abolishing slavery by unrolling a giant petition of signatures across the floor of the House of Commons. He then unveils his most unexpected supporter – Lord Charles Fox – and asks him to come and sign the petition personally.
The next time you’re making an important presentation, think about how you can create your own STAR moment: one that will linger in your audience’s memory long after they go home.
You can now download Nancy Duarte’s excellent Resonate interactive eBook for free on Apple’s iBooks.