If you are ever going for an interview, delivering a business presentation or giving a speech, you must be able to convey the main message in a sound bite. The sound bite is a glue that keeps your entire presentation together and it is the first thing you are going to say and keep repeating it. When you are done, others may not remember much of what you said, but they will remember the sound bite you kept using to convey the main message..
One of the most effective use of sound bite comes from the book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. The sound bite is “Who is John Galt?” which is repeated throughout the book. When finished, you may like or dislike the book, but you will not forget the key sound bite. Sound bites are a powerful tool for effective communication in writing, speaking and advertising.
Use of sound bite is also very effective If you are ever asked to give an extemporaneous speech. Since you have have no time to prepare, the best thing to do is to key in on one word or a sound bite. I had this happen to me when I was asked to give an impromptu speech at a relative’s wedding anniversary. I picked out the word “passion,” and went on to describe the passion the couple exhibited in everything they did together, such as travel, dancing and life. They loved the speech and this was recently validated when they told me (after five years had gone by) that they really liked the speech I gave. I learned a very valuable lesson on communication as a result of that experience: keep it very simple and spend time on coming up with an effective sound bite to use.
Communication was cited as the number 1 job skill one must have in 2013, according to an article in Wall Street Journal titled, "Must-Have Job Skills in 2013." People today are overloaded with information at work. Decisions have to be made quickly often without having all the information. You have to work with lot of uncertainty. If you want to increase your chances to communicate effectively in this environment with your boss, colleagues or in meetings, you want to make sure that you approach each interaction armed with a sound bite. Everyone has lot in their mind, so a sound bite helps achieve your objective in not making others think too much about what you are bringing up for consideration.
So next time you have to write, present, debate or give a speech, don’t do it without first crafting a solid sound bite that ties your main message together. At the end, only handful of people will remember the specifics, but you want to make sure that most can repeat the sound bite you used.
Jay Oza is a founder and principal innovation development consultant at 5ToolGroup, a company that specializes in helping startups and established firms bring innovation to market within 90 days through our unique 5Tool Methodology that integrates sales, marketing, partnerships, customer development and agile/lean methodology to enable frugal or ("Jugaad") innovation. We believe that to succeed today, you have to continuously look for ways to do lot more with lot less. This is the only way to win today!