So the U.S. Presidential Debate didn’t exactly struggle to attract media coverage. Over 80 million people tuned in, and it was streamed live on 13 television channels in the U.S. alone. Even they use soundbites as a mechanism to communicate their message clearly and succinctly, in a way that can be ‘grabbed’ by the media. If your business needs to try slightly harder than Clinton and Trump to get media coverage, then soundbites may hold even more value. It’s not just the media that like a soundbite, humans do too. People in the room at your event are more likely to remember aspects of your speech if it’s delivered containing interesting small chunks of information.
A soundbite should grab the ear and the mind. They can be the difference between a thrown away sentence and a phrase or sentence that sticks in the mind of the listener. The key to creating a good quality sound bite is preparation. Unless you are uncommonly quick-tongued, you need to think up soundbites in advance and toss them into your interview/speech at the appropriate time.
The sentence is more likely to stick into memory if it contains compressed meaning with an element of surprise. For example, Trump on his reaction to seeing Bernie Sanders endorse Clinton: “I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.” That was a soundbite snapped up by the media. Not necessarily in a way that helps Trump’s campaign, in this case, but a soundbite nonetheless.
Conscious consideration of the nuances of word order, and choice of words, makes a big difference. Triplets, unexpected metaphors, and playing with the rhythm of the sentence are three ways in which you can do this (see what I did there with the triplet). The human mind likes threes.
For example, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” from the Declaration of Independence, and Hilary Clinton in the latest Presidential Debate: “Politics, policies, principles”, when she was explaining what on grounds she disagrees with Trump. Unexpected metaphors can work as interesting chunks of meaningful text. Motion metaphors are often used to frame messages in political campaigns. This is also relevant for corporate speeches where one wants to give the impression of being forward-moving.
See our Linked In article regarding what we learned from the U.S. Presidential debate about public speaking
If you have trouble with public speaking, have a look at our corporate training packages here