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Create a Fun "Memory Hook" to Explain What You Do

by Susan C. Daffron, SPAWN President

Oddly enough, many creative people don't have a creative answer for that eternal networking question "so what do you do?' If you've ever felt tongue-tied or mumbled something like, "oh I'm a writer," try jazzing up your answer a little. Networking meetings are a lot less uncomfortable and boring if you engage people in conversation.

If you are a shy introvert, who hates small talk and doesn't think well on her feet, consider creating a "memory hook" to describe what you do. When you create a fun and distinctive "memory hook" or elevator speech about what you do, you catch people's interest and the rest of the conversation becomes a lot easier.

Basically a "hook" is a quick, memorable sentence or turn of phrase you can use to describe your business. Sometimes a memory hook is also referred to as an "elevator speech." It's a 60-second description that you could say in between floors if someone asked you about you and what you do.

Here are three tips to create a memory hook that works:

1. Try adding sensory words into the phrase to make it more descriptive. Appealing to the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell or touch can help lodge a phrase into someone's mind.

2. Rearrange a phrase or do a play on words with a well-known expression. Consider a cliché like "two wrongs don't make a right." If you're an editor, you might try quipping "two wrongs don't make a writer."

3. Use rhyme, alliteration, or other word play.

Once you have created your memory hook, practice it a few times, and try it out on a few people. If you get a smile and nod in response, you know you're on the right track!

Susan Daffron aka The Book Consultant is the President and Webmaster of SPAWN. She is the author of 12 books, including Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book That Promotes Your Expertise. Susan owns a book and software publishing company called Logical Expressions, Inc., which offers book layout, design and consulting services.

You can read more of Susan's publishing articles on the Book Consultant Web site.



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