Components of a Compelling Sound Bite

Whether you are delivering a presentation to employees, conference attendees, community members or media, you want your comments to be as salient and memorable as possible. Regardless of the audience, you will have key messages that are intended to be the “take-aways” of the meeting. “A key message in a presentation, speech or media appearance consists of a strong headline, plus a specific example or anecdote that supports the headline,” says Andy Gilman, president and CEO of CommCore Consulting Group. “The most memorable key messages contain visuals—images that capture the mind’s eye.” Just as you would when preparing sound bites in media training sessions, craft these key messages with the following components in mind: • Headline: The big idea, boiled down to a strong, succinct statement. • Facts: Evidence that supports the big idea, such as third-party endorsements, research, etc. • Examples: Anecdotes, analogies, etc., that relate the big idea to individual audience members and answer the “what’s in it for me?” question. Read accompanying article on the Art of Persuasion here.

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