- Amanda Gorman is a gifted speaker and poet who infuses her poems with style and substance.
- The poetic techniques she uses are powerful, and she also has a passion for her topics and prepares thoroughly for each recitation.
Marketers and other communicators have much to learn from Gorman’s impactful communication style.
What does marketing have to do with poetry? At first glance, the two do not seem to have anything in common.
But as anyone who has listened to Amanda Gorman knows, there is a captivating quality to good poetry that captures people’s minds and hearts in a way that most other writing just can’t do. The youngest inaugural poet laureate in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman is also a cum laude graduate of Harvard University and an award-winning writer. Here is how she has captivated audiences with her words at such a young age.
Write for the Ear, not just the Eye
Most poetry is written to be read aloud, not just seen on the page. In particular, Gorman writes her poetry for the sound of the words and uses literary techniques that draw the audience in and bring them along for the ride.
If you want to mesmerize your target audience, poetic language will do that better than anything else you can imagine. Gorman paints pictures with her words and gets her ideas across in a simple but powerful way.
For example, alliteration is a straightforward technique Gorman uses in her poetry that can be effective in advertising and marketing. Repeating the sounds of words within sentences (“sun-baked South”) makes your copy sound more attractive, and the sounds that are repeated can send a subtle message (soft sounds like s and w are soothing while hard sounds like p and t are exciting and energizing).
Other poetic techniques Gorman uses that translate well to marketing are repetition, rhyming, and comparative techniques like simile and metaphor (she ends her inaugural poem with the image of people being light). Using poetic techniques can create powerful images in customers’ minds that are hard to forget.
Be Relentlessly Positive
In her poem, Gorman tackled topics like injustice, loss, slavery, and inequality. She didn’t pretend that these things didn’t exist, but she focused on how, as a country, we have worked (imperfectly) to overcome these negatives and have chosen to unify to become a better nation.
She wrote and said,
And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
Relentless positivity is an attractive force that will draw followers and make them customers, then advocates. There is little else that endears people to others as much as relentless, genuine positivity, even–or especially–in the face of serious problems and negative forces that come up in life.
Project an Energetic Tone
There have been many poet laureates in U.S. history, but Gorman became a huge sensation when she recited a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration last January. Part of what stood out to audiences about Gorman is the passionate and energetic tone she used in her recitation.
Her passion for her poem’s topic was communicated in her energetic tone and gestures, which punctuated her speech and added emphasis to certain words and phrases. She paced her words, phrases, and sentences for maximum effectiveness and to build the audience’s interest as well as emphasized the power behind her words.
Are your brand’s marketing messages delivered passionately and with great energy? Watch her performance above to see what you can learn.
Spend the Time
Some think of poetry as a spontaneous and kind of go-with-the-flow exercise. But Gorman spent about two months writing and practicing her poem “The Hills We Climb,” which she recited at the Biden inauguration. She even practiced on the stage before the actual event. Her preparation helped make her performance more powerful and showed her which techniques would work best during the event.
Effective marketing should not be slapstick or sloppily put together. Preparation, strategy, and testing of ideas are all necessary components to marketing that works. And many marketers could learn from the intense preparation and hard work Gorman has displayed in her poetry career.
Make Everything Work Together
In Gorman’s poetry, the ideas work together with the poetic language she uses, her passionate tone, and her gestures and facial expressions to create a masterpiece that enthralls the audience. If these components of her poetry didn’t work together, she would just be an average or pretty good poet rather than a great one.
There are similar components to a successful marketing campaign that also must work together: passion for the product, innovative presentation, and social media/influencer tie-ins, to name a few. When everything doesn’t work together, it just feels disjointed and inauthentic and makes customers wonder whether they should entrust their hard-earned dollars to your brand.
Infuse Your Message With Your Values
Let’s be real, Gorman’s poetry would not mean much without her values being woven through it like an intricate tapestry. Because of the type of poet she is, it was necessary for her to speak of her values and present them to the world in a powerful way.
More and more companies are finding that sharing their values is a powerful way to stand out from a crowd of competitors and distinguish themselves from others selling similar products. People want their purchases to mean something, and they are increasingly willing to put their money into quality brands that share their values.
Media Shower wants to help your brand communicate more effectively, using cutting-edge marketing techniques to impact the bottom line. Find out how much to spend on marketing. And what you’ll get in return.