What is a mantra?
A mantra is a concise, memorable phrase that gets right to the heart of your message quickly and memorably, for example:
- “Education, Education, Education” (Tony Blair).
- “Yes we can” (President Barrack Obama)
Your speeches will benefit from such a mantra and creating one is easy.
- Know what your message is
- Brainstorm with friends or colleagues – this is often a good way to arrive at a mantra and avoid getting stuck with your original ideas
- Condense your mantra into 8 words or less – 3 if you can
Using a mantra in your speech
Once you have decided on your mantra, you need to include it at several points in your speech. A good rule of thumb is to introduce your mantra early and use it
- every 7 – 10 minutes in a long speech and
- 3 times in a shorter (less than10 minute) speech
Don’t worry if it feels a bit cumbersome at first. Remember “practice makes perfect”.
I was recently at a meeting where a colleague had been asked to give a speech to a group of newly qualified, newly employed accountants on the theme of “Your attitude determines your altitude” in other words “how you behave now will result in promotion or lack promotion in future”
- We started off by determining what the purpose of the speech was to be which was to get the audience to consider:
- where they wanted to be in 5 years’ time
- what steps they needed to take now, to make sure they get there.
- During the brainstorming session words like future, focus, goals, decisions, vision, clarity and many others were written down
- Eventually it struck me that as the 5 year plan would finish in 2020, a good Mantra might be 2020 vision
- My colleague decided to go with this and is now constructing the speech around the mantra “2020 Vision”
Example – Opening
“Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. My question to you today is where do you want to be in 5 years’ time and how do you intend to get there? To achieve your 2020 vision you are going to need 2020 vision now”
Example – After a powerful point.
“In 5 years’ time if you want to be a partner, you need to have 2020 vision now”
Example – At the end of your speech
“So in conclusion, remember that you have to get your 2020 vision in place now to make sure you achieve your 2020 vision in 5 years time.”