Five Tips to Become a Soundbite Genius

Sep 14 21:00 2004 Susan Harrow Print This Article

Article Date: ... ... ... get on TV talk shows, public ... ... Susan Harrow, media ... Have Nine Seconds to Tell

Article Date: 2004
Category: Marketing,Guest Posting Publicity
Keywords: get on TV talk shows, public relations,
marketing, publicity, Susan Harrow, media attention,

You Have Nine Seconds to Tell the World Your Message. Are
You Prepared? Follow these five tips for developing the
right soundbites.

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Five Tips to Become a Soundbite Genius

1. Speak in soundbites to everyone.

Getting key phrases for concepts and ideas across clearly is
central to all communication. As a fun practice try to shave
off any extraneous details during conversation in your
everyday life. In Errol Morris' film *Fog of War* former
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said, *Never answer the
question that is asked. Answer the question you wish were
asked.* Begin to train yourself to speak only what you want
others to hear. In this way you'll be shaping other's
perception of you-which is the essence of good media.

2. Answer the first interview question with your sermonette.

In a 1989 interview on the NPR show Fresh Air veteran TV
journalist David Brinkley said, *Everyone of them [his
guests] will arrive in the studio with some little
sermonette in mind, and determined to deliver it. So one
thing I do is first ask them a dull, boring question like,
what do you think about this. And let them deliver their
little sermonette. And then we get to the hard core of what
we're there to talk about.* Your first and last points have
the most impact so plan and deliver your sermonettes no
matter what you're asked.

3. Frame your ideas for your audience.

Jennifer O'Neil, a film producer and director, explained
that when shooting background footage (b-roll) she uses a
technique called *grounding.* To *ground* the camera must
end definitively on an object or scene that signals the
viewer that that segment is over. I suggested to her that
she probably also used the opening footage to *ground* or
shape the beginning of how she wanted a viewer to perceive
the scene. In this way you orient your audience to the scene
or the material you want them to focus on.

You can apply the same concept to soundbites. Your opening
words set the stage for what you want to convey, your final
words signify the close, how you want your audience to
remember what you've told them. Use your opening and closing
statements to anchor your audience to the information you
want them to grasp. That way you shape the way they think
about your product, service or cause.

4. Tell people what to do.

I love mystery, but this isn't the place for it. Don't leave
your audience guessing. Be forthright about the action you
want them to take by letting them know why your product or
service is necessary for them to have a complete and happy
life now. What gap does what you have to offer fill? Be
direct in pointing this out so there is no doubt.

5. Live your words.

Get to the point with clarity and insight. The Latvian
violinist Gidon Kremer said of composer Astor Piazzolla's
music, *I don't think it's [the music] always about
embellishment. I don't think it all can be expressed rightly
just gliding on the surface of convenient rhythms. This
music can't be in fact performed, it has to be lived. And I
always can distinguish if someone is flirting with Piazzolla
as a convenient item of our commercial industry or if
someone really lives the life or the heartbeat of the music
of this great composer.*

It's the same with you and your soundbites. Are you living
the heartbeat of what you're saying, what you're
representing? If not, we hear your false notes, your
commercial intent. If so, we know in an instant when your
music is true.

Learn how to use any interview, any time, on any topic, to
get your business, book, product or cause the
publicity-and fame you long for in this soundbite teleclass.

Copyright(c) 2004 Susan Harrow. All rights reserved.

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About Article Author

Susan Harrow
Susan Harrow

Susan Harrow is a top media coach, marketing strategist and
author of *Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul*
(HarperCollins), *The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on
Oprah*, and *How You Can Get a 6-Figure Book Advance.* Her
clients include Fortune 500 CEOs, millionaires, best-selling
authors and successful entrepreneurs who have appeared on
Oprah,60 Minutes,NPR, and in TIME,USA Today,Parade,
People,O,NY Times,Wall Street Journal,Inc.

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