Have you ever been trapped listening to someone who was simply unable to get to the point? It was supposed to be a conversation, maybe at a dinner party or business event, but there was very little exchange and you were on the receiving end of an endless rant or story — looking for a way out.
Have you ever asked someone a simple question and they go on and on and on and you wonder when the story might end?
We’ve all been there, and it’s no fun.
While that kind of behavior may be OK when you’re speaking with a friend or a family member (we all have our shortcomings, after all), it certainly is not OK in a business setting, and you absolutely don’t want to be guilty of this when you’re being interviewed.
How do you make sure you never fall into this trap?
Well, I’m not sure how you handle your blow-hard, brother-in-law who thinks he knows everything, but when it comes to doing an interview, remember this:
Sound bites are your best friend, yet most people take ten sentences to say what could be said in one or two.
What is a sound bite?
Sound bites are short, pithy and very memorable phrases or summary statements that quickly make a point. Even long after the interview, a sound bite can stay with someone. For example, I listened to a podcast during which the expert was talking about relationships. She summed up one of her main points by saying:
“In relationships, perfection equals pure fiction.”
Perfect. I still remember this sound bite 4 years later and am sharing it with you.
When it comes to your book, product or business, you have key messages. These are the most important parts of what you do that you want others to understand. One of the best ways of making sure they do, is to say your key message and wrap it around a sound bite.
Here are some tips for creating great sound bites:
Listen to other interviews. YouYube makes it very easy to do. Listen carefully for the sound bites. If they are good, they will jump out at you. See if you can pick them out.
Listen during your own conversations with others. Often someone’s throw away sentence can be made into a sound bite and it’s a gem worth saving.
Use metaphors, similes, and analogies. What can you compare your key message to that makes it easy for the reader, listener or viewer to understand what it is you’re trying to say? Remember, less is more. The shorter and more impactful you can make it, the better.
To your success!