“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This is the famous sound bite from John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address. Fifty plus years later it is still memorable.
In business, the ability to get your point across very easily and make it memorable can generate business growth while potentially increasing conversions significantly. People often think a sound bite is just it’s a clever quip, but it is actually more than that. In this post, which is based on a conversation we recently had with Susan Harrow (AKA the Sound Bite Queen), we will share some suggestions for you to use when creating sound bites for your business. Ultimately, a good sound bite can be a vital weapon that you can add to your creative marketing idea tool kit.
The most effective sound bites are usually in the form of an analogy, anecdote, story, statistic, fact, one-liner, acronym, and metaphor. Sound bites should flow naturally so you will want to have a mix of those so it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to make a sound bite.
There are two things that a sound bite should do in the course of a business conversation. First, it should rapidly tell the audience you are in front of, what’s of value to them in this moment, and second, how can you help.
“Speak to what your audience needs to know now and how you can help. It’s not about bragging about yourself. It’s about speaking through the results of your clients to your potential clients and customers. That’s what gets people to pick up the phone and hire you, or buy your product.” Susan Harrow, PRSecrets.com
A good sound bite could display your creative marketing ideas and might just be the hook that gets people reeled into your business. They can be used for meetings, your LinkedIn profile, face-to-face networking, talking to customer/client, etc. It is important to practice and continually refine your sound bites.
Why communicate in sound bites? Neuroscience says that you have to communicate in 20-second chunks of conversation in order for the brain to actually process what you said. Anything beyond 20 seconds, without a pause, we cannot grasp or process in our brain. Thus, neuroscience dictates we have to learn to speak in sound bites.
Creative Marketing Ideas for Sound Bites
Get your own sound bite buddies. Grab a friend or a colleague or someone to practice with who will be kind to you. Then run your sound bites past them and see what they retain. Often times we don’t know what’s going to resonate with other people. We may think certain things we are saying are very important to communicate and then come to learn, they really weren’t to other people listening to them. This is what we are looking for from our sound bite buddies. Based on their response, you’ll start to identify what you’re saying that’s not sticking and you can even use this time to brainstorm new sound bites with your peers.
As you tell these stories you start to refine them. Perhaps you might want to try that in a different way or in a different order or with some different details. Basically what you are doing is you are playing with these. It’s an iterative process of playing and having someone as a sounding board that will help you.
Creating sound bites
- Look at your bio, experience. Create sound bites that speak to what your audience needs to know now and how you can help
- Things that sound bites should do:
- Explain what the value is in the moment
- Detail how can you help
- Speak through the results of your clients to your potential clients/customers
- Explain the issue they had, what YOU did to help, and the results they saw
- Address fears of clients
- Find a sound bite buddy – run it past other people, what do they hear?
- Refine these, listen to what people say, feedback, shape your sound bite and story