Tracey Cunnington - Marketing Assistant

How to stand out from the crowd, in a single sentence.

Until recently, a one-liner to me meant a quick quip, comedy, fast wit, something memorable.

That’s all true, but I’ve learnt a thing or two lately, and it’s given the one-liner a whole new lease of life.

I’ll set the scene. It was late on a Friday afternoon, I was finishing what I was working on, it was nearly time to go home. Then, a curve-ball. My CEO, Debra Charles, had been asked to create a magnetic one-liner for the Game Changers Women’s Leadership Summit on May 4th, and wanted my help. She needed to submit this ASAP to meet the event organiser’s print deadline.

I was puzzled. I knew what a one-liner was, but what was a magnetic one-liner? Well, it’s something Sarah Lloyd Hughes, from Ginger Public Speaking, is championing, Debra told me. As Sarah puts it:

“Every time we’re asked ‘what do you do?’ there are magnetic things we can say that attract the right people to wanting to know more, spread the word about our activities, or offer help.”

Okay. So, could I summarise everything that Debra is and aspires to be in just a sentence or two?

No task too tough! In Novacroft’s marketing team, we have to have an agile, adaptable mindset. Things can move fast and we have to turnaround tasks quickly.

I read Sarah’s blog. The examples I saw weren’t purely business focussed, they were insights into people’s personalities. Some made me laugh, some made me curious.

Viewing Sarah’s video on magnetic one liners, I was inspired by her words. It’s about giving a flavour of a person and what they’re about, making it easier to know who you would (or wouldn’t) like to engage with.

My mind was whirring with thoughts, snippets, soundbytes about Debra. In just a few words, I needed to convey everything that’s important about our CEO and what she does at Novacroft. Not just any words. Words to excite an audience. Words to draw people towards her with their magnetism. Words to start great conversations.

What was the result? Here’s Debra’s magnetic one liner:

‘I’m not normal, I love people who are not normal. Embracing change, breaking down barriers, harnessing technology to help thousands of people every day.’

I drove home that day thinking what a great challenge creating a magnetic one-liner was. It had been fun. The quick turnaround had added focus – it made me step back from the everyday detail and think about what’s really important.

We’re all asked ‘what do you do?’ from time to time. So if you’re writing a magnetic one-liner any time soon, don’t overthink it. The stand out points will probably come to mind in the first few seconds. Most of all, make it memorable, like any good one-liner!

What would your own magnetic one-liner be?