Why Everyone Needs a Good Catchphrase

Admit it, you can’t get that catchphrase out of your head. The Public Speaker explains how a good slogan or mantra helps get your message across. 

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read
Episode #254

Example #2: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”

Once the audience understood the importance of “Why,” Sinek introduced his next catchphrase: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” I counted at least 6 repetitions of this phrase in his speech. Sinek would tell a story, then use the phrase, tell another story, then use the phrase again. Each time he said it, he tapped the word “Why” in the diagram.

Simon Sinek’s catchphrases were extremely effective in getting his point across. No one was going to leave that talk and forget what it was about.

Now let’s look at another example from my own work.

Example #3: "Development is evolutionary, not revolutionary."

One of my clients, a rabbi, was looking for help crafting his message for a sermon. He described the content and we came up with this mantra:

"Development is evolutionary, not revolutionary."

We then introduced the catchphrase at the beginning of the sermon. It was then repeated at the end of each section of this talk, acting as both a transition and a repetition of the main idea. It was short, simple, and easy to remember. This mantra also made use of rhyming words to make it stickier.  The idea is to have these words roll around in the head of your listeners many hours, days, or even months later.

One very well-known example of rhyming words used as a catchphrase is from attorney Johnny Cochran.  You may remember the phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” That was back in 1995, and I’ll bet most of you remembered instantly that he was referring to a glove that was introduced into evidence in the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. Not only did that phrase help the defense win the case, it became one of the most famous catchphrases of all time. Good catchphrases, like good commercial jingles, echo the main idea and they get stuck in our head. 

In today’s episode, we looked at some examples of well-crafted catchphrases and how they can help make your point stick.

The bottom line is this: Use a catchphrase because simple is awesome!

Now that you know how important a good catchphrase is, stay tuned for the next episode of the Public Speaker podcast when I’ll teach you exactly how to create one of these catchy slogans for your next presentation.

This is Lisa B. Marshall, Helping you maximize sales, manage perceptions, and enhance leadership through keynotes, workshops, books, and online courses. Passionate about communication; your success is my business. If you want even more success in your life, I invite you to listen to my other podcast, Smart Talk:  Inspiring Conversations with Exceptional People.

Megaphone, Band-Aid, Wright brothers plane, judge, and presentation images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.

You May Also Like...