Sound Bites: 8 Things You Need to Know for Your Next Media Interview

SUMMARY: In today’s fast-paced world, captivating media interviews rely on concise, memorable sound bites. Crafting these messages is critical for entrepreneurs to connect with their audience effectively. Preparation is key to making a quick, impactful connection, whether in a formal interview, podcast or casual encounter in line for coffee. Sound bites distill complex messages into digestible nuggets, leaving a lasting impression on listeners. With practice and guidance, entrepreneurs can master the art of sound bites and elevate their media presence significantly.

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Soundbites: 8 Things You Need to Know for Your Next Media Interview.

If you think sound bites, talking points, or critical messages for media interviews are just for the salesy, sleazy, or slick, you’re not seeing the big picture. Every captivating interview has them.

In today’s hurry-scurry world, attention spans are the size of a tweet. Your key messages, in the form of sound bites, can make or break an interview, a deal, a sale, and even a seemingly meaningless casual encounter. In order to be on the cutting edge, or even just to be competitive, entrepreneurs and founders need to have a sound bite ready for every opportunity.

Once you are prepared, you can make a connection anywhere, with anyone, at any time. A connection that could result in life-changing shift. Whether you have a business, book, product, service or cause, sound bites are the key to making a quick connection.

Don’t Be Like This Client.

I was reminded of the importance of being pithy for media interviews on a recent call with an author who became a client. She blithered on and on in her emails, writing me several detailed pages before we even set up an appointment to see if we were a match. Bad strategy. I took her on because she really has something to say to the world — she just takes way too long to say it. That’s why she hired me.

On our initial call, I had to repeatedly wrangle her so I could discover what her book was about. It wasn’t easy or fun. This is something that I should have been able to discover in 20 seconds. She’s about to embark on a book tour so we have much work to do before her book publishes.

Sound Bites Are Memorable But Concise.

Your audience wants to have a good time with you during media interviews. Not struggle to understand what you’re trying to say.

It’s your job to deliver only the information that they need to know at that instant. And deliver it in a concise, memorable, entertaining, and elegant way.

This video is a moving example of why words matter.

Being able to get to the essentials of who you are is critical. Your audience wants to know why you do what you do, what your business is about, and what matters to you.

Perfection Needs Practice.

To whittle your words into sound bites, your key message take-aways — takes practice.

Lots of it.

But once you master this kind of messaging strategy — where your talking points ring the bell of universal truths — you can use it across all mediums. From your social networks to media interviews, to a chat in line to get the latest iPhone.

The problem isn’t that entrepreneurs and founders don’t have plenty to say — it’s that they have too much. And they have no idea how to organize their thoughts or content into tightly crafted meaningful messages that leave their audiences longing for more.

It’s like taking Tolstoy’s War and Peace and turning it into Haiku.

It’s a huge task; one that is best done with a sound bite buddy or media coach.

Sound Bites Create Your Story.

To get into the habit of speaking in sound bites before networking events, meetings, media interviews, job interviews or spontaneous interaction in the proverbial elevator, I suggest that you create at least six sound bites using the following formulas.

1. The origin story: My client, Kristen Scheurlein, Founder of Affirmagy, left a multi-million-dollar business as a graphic designer to become what she calls The Blanket Lady.

“I didn’t want to become an entrepreneur, but it’s in my blood. My grandfather was a shoemaker. In the Depression, he saw that many people couldn’t afford shoes. He traded chickens for shoes to make sure that none of the children in the village went shoeless. I didn’t realize that I was following in his footsteps when I began my business, which will become a complete non-profit in five years, but I am. We give away blankets to churches, charities, homeless. In essence, I’m trading chickens for shoes.”

Create your signature story using this easy template.

2. Statistics connected to your book or business: Self-employed people, whose numbers continue to grow, have almost doubled since 1980 to over 16 million. One of the biggest challenges of the self-employed is the lack of structure and accountability to follow through on important tasks. Many complain that they feel like they are “all alone” in their business lives.

The book Extreme Success by Rich Fettke gives self-employed people ways to develop the support they need and proven strategies to stay focused and effective on their most important goals.

3. Fact: More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with thyroid disease, and another 13 million people are estimated to have undiagnosed thyroid problems in the U.S. alone.

4. Vignette: An anchorman and reporter at CBS spoke at 300 words per minute while the typical person speaks 125-140. The practice of Transformational Speaking taught him to take time, to pause. For the first time in his life, his evaluations as a professional speaker said things like, “Thank you for giving me time to think.” He said, “I don’t beat up my audiences with facts anymore.’

5. Anecdote: Chuck Barris, creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and more, said that people were always eating while watching TV. His mission for the shows became the motto: stop a fork. “I always told my staff, if we could stop a fork… midway from the bowl to the mouth, then we had done something right, we had just created a moment that was O.K.. That was the slogan that we carried around the company. Stop a fork.”

6. Analogy: “Bangs are the new Botox.” Becky de la Rosa, Hairdresser

7. Aphorism: “Language is the dress of thought; every time you talk your mind is on parade.” Dr Samuel Johnson

8. Acronym: M.A.D.D. Mothers against drunk driving

It Takes Time, But It’s Worth the Effort.

Through training and practice, you move these key phrases you’ve created into the conversations you have. At networking events, with potential clients, buyers of your products or services, the media. Anyone who you want to experience of who you are and what your business is about. It’s important to be prepared for any personal and professional opportunity that comes your way. This can happen anywhere at any time.

Case in point. While one of the participants in my The Zen of Fame: Your Genius Gone Viral® course was waiting in line to buy an iPad 2, she sold over 250 books from the trunk of her car and closed a speaking engagement worth thousands of dollars. How? By speaking in sound bites in casual conversation.

You too can master speaking in sound bites to engage your ideal audience to buy your book, build your business, engage your services, get involved with your cause, and, most importantly, create a lasting connection during media interviews.

Want to know what to do when the media calls? Hop on over to this webinar to learn the secrets of media stars. (Everyday people just like you who have learned how to do it right and got astounding results during their media interviews).

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Disclosure: Some of the above may be affiliate links that I will be compensated for at no cost to you. They are products or services I’ve either used, vetted or trust. Enjoy!



Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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