How researchers get heard

Your 30-Second Memory Maker

What’s the most underrated communications skill?

The ability to make a memory in someone else.

To plant something that sprouts up, again and again, nagging or nourishing them.

We remember beginnings and endingsespecially endings.

The next time you’re hosting a call with researchers, or a panel of them, say: “We’ve got about a minute left — any last thoughts?”

(Ask that with at least five minutes to go, obviously.)

Occasionally, a pro will surface and blow away the amateurs. They’ll say the thing everyone will be talking about later. They’ll cut right to the heart of the matter and connect with everyone in the room.

This skill is often a gift. But it’s always a habit. And while there are clever if formulaic ways of sticking the ending (“Leave them with a fact they won’t forget”; “Ask them a hypothetical question that will keep them up for nights to come”), the thing everyone will remember is the thing you yourself can’t forget. The question you can’t stop asking. The must-do you yourself have been ignoring.

What can’t you forget? Share that…last.