Networking with Sound Bites


Gail Stolzenburg

First it was used in newspapers, then it was used in radio and television and now it’s being used in networking. In the newspaper it was called headlines and on radio and television it is called Sound Bites. Newspapers know that people read the headlines first and then decide if they want to read further. Well, people respond to conversation the same way. They decide within a few seconds whether they want to listento you further. Advertisers know Sound Bites are the secret to generating interest. Reporters love Sound Bites because they make great stories.

A Sound Bite is a short, attention getting message, usually no longer than 10 words, that promotes the main idea of your message and pulls the listener in to hear more. There is no necessity to go very far to see how effect using Sound Bites is. The politicians all use Sound Bites for talking points, in fact, you’ll hear them say the Sound Bite over and over again, even if it never answeres the question being asked. You’ll immediately recognize: “Ask not what your country can do for you”, “Read my lips”, “You are no John Kennedy”, and “Trust but verify”

Another example of Sound Bite use is newscasters.There is always a good Sound Bite so you will stay on the station and be ready to listen when the commercial is finished, Also, there is Tweeting – 140 characters used to seem too short, but now we see it is very effective. People only remember small bits and pieces of our conversation, so make it easy for them with catchy, easy-to-remember Sound Bites.

The purpose of a sound bite is to be memorable and help people understand why you said what you did. There is no requirement to be humorous, but sometimes it helps with people’s short attention span. Remember; If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit:.

So, what makes up a good Sound Bite that you might use in your networking conversation? Here are some tips.

  1. Like all projects it is important to plan, prepare and rehearse your Sound Bites so that your delivery is as near flawless as possible.
  2. Remember; keep it short, just a bite.During most networking session we have a limited amount of time. There is a good book, “Y Size Your Business” by Jason Dorsey “The Gen Y Guy”. Millennials and Gen Yers communicate in Sound Bites, so you will benefit from learing to dothe same. In the past 50 years the Sound Bites used by politicians have reduced dramatically, to about 8 seconds.
  3. Creating contrast or conflict is another element that has proven very effective, showing both sides or having an opposing position. Tom “Big Al” Schreiter says, “There is no conversation untill there is disagreement.”
  4. Frequent use of your Sound Bites will help you become memorable. Just think of how easy Fred Astaire’s dance steps look, but he practiced those steps thousands of times.
  5. Write down the type of questions your Sound Bite is likely to produce so you can deliver answers that have the same message as your Sound Bite.
  6. And, finally remember what Leadership Guru John C. Maxwell says, “Leaders are readers.” Jim Rohn said read every day. A good habit is reading a non-fiction book every week. Be up-to-date on today’s topics so you can use the knowledge effectively. You may even “wow” some of your listeners.

Here is a bonus tip: Triples – the human mind likes threes. “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happinesss”.
So review your Sound Bites and see if you can include phrases with three choices in them. It is interesting, but people usually select the last choice.

So, during your next conversation, try using a few Sound Bites and see how people react to you.

See you at the next networking event!

Gail “The Connector” Stolzenburg
281 493 1955


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