You’ve spent a lot of time devising the perfect elevator pitch, or Belief Message, for your organization. But now what?
Don’t leave your Belief Message stranded on your computer! Now’s the time to get practicing and take it out on the town.
Using your new messaging often will help you make it routine, and eventually second-nature. Once you’re comfortable using your Belief Message, you’ll be able to easily recite it on the fly while talking to prospective donors, introducing your organization to a group, or when a new acquaintance asks you, “So, what do you do?”
Memorization can scare people away from truly embracing their key messages. But, like any good routine, memorization will ensure your message remains consistent and compelling.
1. Screen It: According to a study conducted by Deloitte, the average American looks at their mobile device 46 times per day. A recent Mission Minded client took advantage of this statistic and made her “lock screen” into an image of her organization’s Belief Message. Every time she went to look at her phone, there was the Belief Message, enticing her to read it and practice saying it. Within a few days, she had it memorized.
2. Post It: Most of us are sitting at our computers constantly. Simply writing your Belief Message on a Post-it note and placing it on your computer can be an effective way of helping you become more familiar with your message. Whether on a conference call or surfing the web, your Belief Message will be right there to remind you to look at it, say it, and memorize it.
3. Piece It Together: Your organization’s Belief Message will likely be similar in length to Youth Outside’s Belief Message.
Rather than think about the message as a whole, break it down into three key parts:
We believe … “a meaningful experience in nature can change the course of a life.”
So we … “lead the field by counseling, coaching, and funding outdoor educators and thought-leaders to ensure that as many youth as possible can partake in the life-changing experiences of the outdoors.”
Because …”when we do, we improve the lives of youth today and create dynamic outdoor stewards for tomorrow.”
By thinking of the Belief Message in pieces, you can more easily memorize each section in no time.
4. Make It Fun: Education Commission of the States held a “message-off” and encouraged participants to recite the Belief Message in unique ways—one employee impersonated Bill Clinton and another took a Zoolander theme. The fun exercise helped participants and spectators alike remember—and use—the Belief Message in new ways. Other organizations have offered employee and board incentives for reciting the Belief Message when prompted.
5. See It and Remember It: Stand in front of a mirror or videotape yourself reciting the Belief Message. Both approaches allow you to “see” yourself in action, critique yourself, and improve your mad memorization skills.
6. Put It Front and Center: Marin Horizon School has their Belief Message prominently displayed on the homepage of their website. Another Mission Minded client requires that board members take turns reciting their Belief Message prior to all meetings, another has their Belief Message printed on t-shirts for all staff, and another has painted their Belief Message on the wall behind their receptionist’s desk. The possibilities are endless!
8. Schedule It: Memorization takes time. Schedule time in your calendar to read, recite, and repeat your Belief Message.
9. Believe It: Ideally, you played a part in helping shape your organization’s Belief Message. By letting your passion shine through, you’ll be better able to memorize your message because it feels natural and authentic to you.
10. Repeat It: Did we mention this yet? Repetition is the key to memorization and consistency. Say your Belief Message whenever you have the chance–in the shower, on your drive to work, at the start of a meeting. The more you repeat it, the more likely you’ll be able to recite your Belief Message the next time opportunity knocks.
Still not sure you can memorize your Belief Message? Check out this great video and article from The Chicago Tribune that shares tips on memorization from an actress who had to learn 75 minutes worth of lines.
Memorization might make you cringe, but by spending a few minutes today you’ll master your Belief Message and start opening up new doors for your nonprofit.
Julie Malmberg Grawe is Director of Digital and a Senior Brand Strategist based in Denver with diverse experience working in the nonprofit, foundation, and corporate sectors.
See all posts by Julie Malmberg Grawe