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This Public Speaking Tip is written by Kwesi Millington, a fellow World Class Speaking Coach and award winning speaker based in Canada

What’s your lasting line?

Your speech may consist of tens of lines, hundreds of words, and thousands of letters. But the basis of your speech should be only one line.

World Champion Speaker Randy Harvey calls it the Legacy Line. World Champion Speaker and Trainer Craig Valentine calls it the Foundational Phrase. Doug Stevenson calls it The Phrase that Pays. Whatever you call it is irrelevant. Here is what it is. It is the line that you want to linger in your audience’s mind, but it is also the line that YOU should start with to keep you focused on what to include in your speech.

So what is this line? The easiest way to describe What it should be, is to explain How to come up with one. There are 2 questions you should ask of yourself to come up with your Lasting Line:

  1.  What is your main message?
  2.  What do you want your audience to think about or do with your message?

Once you have these questions answered, you are ready to come up with your line. To make it linger however, you should a) deliver it during your speech, likely near the end (as opposed to giving it away too early, such as in your title), and b) use one of the CREAM elements: Contrast, Rhyme, Echo, Alliteration or Metaphor (see my CREAM article here) when comprising your line.

Why create the lasting line?

It is what we remember long after you have finished speaking. You may not remember hearing JFK speak, but you likely remember, “It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” You may not remember much that was said by Muhammed Ali, but you probably remember that he “Floats like a butterfly, and stings like a bee.” You may not remember all of the words, but you probably think of Martin Luther King when you hear the words, “I have a Dream”. You may not remember all of the words of your favourite song, but you can’t get the chorus out of your head, can you? (There are some choruses I wish I could get out of my head but they are too catchy!) Think of your Lasting Line as Your Chorus. A short, repeatable phrase that is a call to action or piece of wisdom that you want your audience to remember.

 So think of your next speech, and sum up your theme with your own Lasting Line. If you do, then the words you say, will last well past today. 😉

What’s Your Line?

Check out Kwesi’s story here


About Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.