Every day, we are bombarded with more information than we can remember.

Whatever your role, you want your message to be remembered and repeated to others. When we do that, we are speaking to the audience of our audience.

In selling, managing, inspiring, leading, training, copywriting, and, in fact, all forms of communication, we must look for techniques that help make our messages memorable to our audiences.

Before our colleagues, customers, partners, or audience members leave the meeting or presentation, we need to solidify our message or remind them of the action they must take. Tying a robust, repeatable message to stories or a significant point gives you a “Phrase That Pays.”  Story consultant coach Doug Stevenson says, “A ‘Phrase That Pays’ is a short phrase that summarizes your message. It is a call to action that tells your listener or audience member what you expect them to do.”

Your “Phrase That Pays” can also be called a “Foundational Phrase” or a “Sound Bite Statement.” The following are techniques that help to create or identify your memorable phrase.

We nearly always remember the associated lesson or message when we remember vivid examples.

Here are three ways to develop your own “Phrase That Pays.”

From popular culture, we quote commercials, lines from movies, and cartoons. The popular TV sitcom that lives on in reruns and still amuses us is Two and a Half Men. Many don’t realize that the unusual titles of the episodes always occur in the dialogue of one of the characters:

How can this help you as a speaker? When you give others a catchy, repeatable catchphrase – something funny, powerful, or thought-provoking – your listeners will be eager to repeat it to others. When your power phrases are attached to your content and examples, you will create an ever-expanding network of people retelling your key messages.

The “Quote Others” Technique

Let the wisdom in your speech, training, or meeting come from the advice or dialogue of your characters, not from you. Reframe and emphasize your key points with the pithy comments of others. They may be talking to you, or you may overhear something. Always give credit to whoever passed on their knowledge.

In preparation to speak at a conference focused on getting employees to come up with good ideas, I interviewed Nancy. She had devised an idea that made her company 18 million dollars. As part of the interview, two lines from that conversation were added to my speech, along with many others that followed. Nancy told me, “I am the only person in the history of our company who received an award for the same idea twice. Patricia, it is much more difficult to develop an idea that makes money than to save money.”

I asked Nancy what the awardees were given as a reward.

Then, “Nancy, just between us, don’t you ever fantasize about being given 1% of the millions they made from your idea?” Nancy said, “Patricia, we do fine. It is such an honor and a privilege to work for a company that listens to what we say.”

When I opened my first business, I attended a leadership seminar. The seminar leader commented that I have never forgotten and repeated frequently in my workshops and speeches. It was as relevant decades ago as it is today. He said, “Your business is as good as your worst employee.”

I am reminded of two people who influenced how I run my business. On the first day I went to work, my father, Arthur Fripp, said, “Don’t focus on making a lot of money. Rather, focus on becoming the type of person others want to do business with, and you most likely will make a lot of money.”

The “Repeat After Me” Technique

Often, it is helpful to give your audience the words to use when they repeat your message to their team. Few new universal truths exist; however, endless ideas can become fresh and powerful when aided by your stories and personal experiences and summarized in your “Phrase That Pays.”

Here are some modern examples of memorable phrases from contemporary sources:

Apple’s “Think Different” phrase promotes creativity and innovation and encourages individuals to challenge the status quo.

Nike’s “Just Do It” is a motivational call to action that resonates across all walks of life.

MasterCard’s “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”: This captures the essence of priceless moments and the convenience of using their services.

Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man”: A humorous yet memorable phrase that appeals to their target market.

How to Craft Your Phrase That Pays

Keep it Short and Sweet: A memorable phrase should be concise.

Make it Relevant: Tie the phrase to your presentation’s core message or value.

Use Vivid Language: Employ words that create strong imagery or emotions.

Be Authentic: Ensure the phrase aligns with your personal or brand identity.

These ideas will help you speak to be remembered and repeated. If you need help, let’s have a conversation.

Patricia Fripp not only walks on water; she creates the water she walks on. She is truly a gifted and talented speech coach.” Chandra Williams, State Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Division of Specialized Education

You are a true Rock Star executive speech coach! You help me with my January Sales Meeting speech every year, and my skills have increased. Your guidance and input are invaluable. My boss told me my speech was outstanding. Thanks to you, I was very confident, comfortable, and genuine.” Rob Cummings, Senior Vice President, Sales & Client Services, Fidelity Investments


As a professional speaker and speech coach, I am frequently asked, “Were you always this confident?” The answer is, “No.”

Confidence in public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s built over time through a commitment to learn, improve, get coached, review your presentations, and continuously stive to hone your skills. Even those with natural talent must know the proven principles and timeless techniques.

Fripp can help improve your presentations.

One of the most transformative benefits of developing good public speaking skills is the boost it gives to your confidence.

Boost Your Confidence and Credibility

Consider Will, a Staff Performance Engineer at a large technology company in Silicon Valley. Will’s story perfectly illustrates how mastering presentation skills can transform one’s confidence. Like many brilliant technical experts, Will invested years developing his skills and then found himself thrust into the spotlight, needing to present to colleagues and superiors.

I felt like a proud parent when Will wrote, “Four months ago, I attended your presentation skills Masterclass. It was eye-opening. I just wanted to let you know how beneficial that class has been. I’ve been a very anxious public speaker for as long as I can remember. After your class, my anxiety magically melted away. Recently, I delivered an hour-long talk to my twenty-five-person team. The audience included management, a director, and our Technical Director.


I help high-tech companies with product launches and customer user conferences to highlight the value of their technology. It is a privilege to assist brilliant technical presenters in better understanding how to talk like real people speaking to real people. Their presentations need to simplify the complexity of technology without ever using the words basic or simple because if it were, why would they charge the price they do? Many love their busy, complex slides. My job is to help them understand that their visual aids may cause cognitive overload.

What is Cognitive Overload?

Cognitive overwhelm occurs when our brains are bombarded with too much information at once, making it difficult to process and retain anything. In public speaking, this often happens when a speaker overloads the audience with data, complex visuals, or rapid speech.


My brother Robert Fripp played guitar on David Bowie’s Heroes.

When my brother and I delivered our presentation, How to Be a Hero for More than One Day, I asked him, “How can we become heroes?”

He replies, “By performing acts of quality.”

The next logical question is, “Why is an act of quality important?”


When crafting unforgettable presentations, the best stories often come from your life experiences—the stories you tell your friends.

What captivates your friends will also captivate your audience.

Robert Fripp Speaks

Think about the last time you shared a story with a friend. Perhaps it was a funny memory from your childhood, a lesson learned from a challenging project, or an inspiring moment that changed your perspective. These stories resonate because they are genuine, personal, and relatable. Your audience, like your friends, connects with authenticity and emotional honesty.

Why Personal Stories Work

  1. Relatability: Personal stories are relatable. When you share a story from your life, your audience can see themselves in your experiences. They find common ground, which builds a connection.
  2. Authenticity: Audiences crave authenticity. Sharing a story from your own life comes across as genuine and sincere, which helps build trust and rapport with your listeners.
  3. Emotional Impact: Personal stories often carry a strong emotional punch. Whether it’s humor, sadness, triumph, or failure, emotions are powerful tools for engaging an audience and making your message memorable.

It never ceases to amaze me that intelligent, well-educated, and ambitious professionals frequently overlook developing the number-one skill guaranteed to position them ahead of the crowd: the ability to stand up and speak eloquently in public, or at least stagger to their feet and say anything at all.

What terrifies so many about public speaking? Most likely, it is because we do not want to look, feel, or sound foolish in front of others. This fear can be paralyzing, but it is also conquerable.

I frequently hear, “I am a terrible public speaker.” To which I reply, “No. You are an untrained speaker.” My second comment is always, “Stop telling yourself what you do not want. This is reinforcing what you are going to change.” You improve what you focus on. I tell my coaching clients, “You have invested your entire career training to be a competent CPA, engineer, nurse, dentist, financial advisor, or content expert. Now it’s time to invest in becoming a competent speaker.”

The Importance of Public Speaking Skills


Do you aspire to be an outstanding public speaker? Here’s a secret: great public speakers are made, not born.

My Journey to Becoming a Speech Expert

Patricia can help you become a great speaker

My clients will tell you I have a unique superpower: I can listen to what people say and instantly tell them how to improve their words or delivery. However, Trust me, I wasn’t born with this ability. It took decades of multifaceted study, practice, and learning from some of the best speech coaches in the world.

Before I realized my destiny was to become a speech coach, I was a dedicated student, taking screenwriting, public speaking, and comedy writing courses. Over thirty years as an in-demand speaker and thousands of presentations later, I refined, adapted, and adjusted the techniques I had learned. This journey led me to coaching executives, engineers, sales teams, and other speakers.

You Can Learn to Be a Great Speaker Too

You are not born a good public speaker; you learn to become one. While some people may find it easier to speak in public, even those with natural talent need to master the principles that save time in preparation, maximize impact, and ensure consistency.


How often have you wondered where the magic begins in crafting a presentation that captivates, informs, and inspires? Consider yourself the chemist concocting a potion that will enchant your audience. Let’s dive into the three essential ingredients that transform your presentation from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Content: Your Main Ingredient

Add magic to your presentations.

Think of your content as the primary ingredient of your potion. It’s the essence of what you wish convey. This is also how you choose to say it. Just like selecting the finest herbs for a potion, picking the right content involves understanding your message and how it fits the needs and expectations of your audience.

The Structure: The Magic Formula

Once you have your main ingredients and the ideas in your presentation, it’s time to stir them into a coherent structure. This is your magic formula, the blueprint that guides how you arrange your thoughts. Create the flow of your ideas that takes your audience on a journey.

From the captivating opening to the memorable close, your structure supports and amplifies your message. A good structure makes your content more understandable, impactful, and easier for you and your audience to remember.


It’s a common misconception that only novice public speakers feel nervous before high-stakes presentations.

However, even seasoned speakers experience jitters and anxiety before taking the stage. The adrenaline rush can be overwhelming, and it’s important to remember that nerves are a sign of caring deeply about the message you want to convey. So, embrace your nerves and use them to deliver a powerful and impactful presentation.

It’s a human reaction, not a professional flaw. As a speech coach, I give my clients the advice they need to transform nervous energy into presentations that captivate their audiences.

Adopt a Growth Mindset: View each opportunity to speak as a chance to grow and learn. This perspective shifts your focus from fear of failure to the excitement of personal development.


Remember how exciting it was when you first fell in love?

Your heart somersaulted every time you met the one you loved. The two of you sat up talking all night and never ran out of something to say. You always seemed to have so much energy. The thrill of falling in love is wonderful.

Soon enough, reality set in, and you had to start working to make the relationship succeed. That’s good, of course. It’s how you truly grow to know and love the other person.

In many ways, a new job is like a love affair.

Fall in love with your career

The first stage is excitement, which can last from an hour to many years. You think, “This job will pay me more money than I’ve ever earned. The clients will be wonderful to deal with. I will expand my knowledge and enjoy exciting experiences.” The novelty of the job keeps your energy high. You are happy because you feel productive and are satisfied with contributing to your team.

Then, the second stage, reality, sets in.

You still enjoy your work; however, you begin to notice some of the irritants and difficulties. Deadlines seem endless and impossible. It becomes harder to arrive early or stay late. You used to love the comradery; now it seems an effort to go in three days a week. The novelty starts to wear off. And, like love, your job has a third stage, too…disillusion.