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presentation training Presentation sound bites p14

You may sometimes have to make your point in a very short space of time. A technique used by politicians being interviewed is called Sound Bites. Here are some tips.
Know what you want – have a clear objective

By crystal clear. Write it down in result terms, e.g. Management to agree to put safety guard on machine 22.

Aim to right person(s)

What are needs/wants? What potential BENEFIT will there be to him/her?

The right approach

Put into a single thought/sentence the approach that will get to your objective e.g.

Objective Management to agree to put a guard on machine 22.

Approach Prevent an accident which could cause trouble with the factory inspector and give bad publicity.
(BENEFIT – avoidance of hassle and saving money)


The hook – get their attention!

Think of something unusual, interesting, dramatic, about your idea. Personalise it if you can. You may wish to use a question. You are using the hook to get the attention of your audience – just like a newspaper headline.

e.g. Yesterday John Hughes nearly lost his index finger on machine 22

Sound Bites


Here you develop your “RIGHT APPROACH” in such a way that will satisfy the needs/wants of the RIGHT PERSON(S). Highlight the benefits – perhaps use the phrase “which means that”. There must be enough detail to convince them but it must not take more than 26/27 seconds to deliver.

e.g. “Yesterday John Hughes nearly lost his index finger in m/c 22. When the last modification was fitted the danger was not fully appreciated. If there is an accident the Factory Inspector will crack down hard. I am sure none of us want all the aggravation and bad publicity. The guard would not be costly. Fitting it would mean that you have no worries about an accident and the consequent loss of production. It will also gain you some goodwill with the staff”.


Many good ideas are lost because the proposer is not specific about what precisely he/she wants people to do. Often people say “good idea” and then move on to another topic. Do not be hesitant about stating clearly and precisely what you want to happen next.

e.g.“We would like a decision before the shifts change tomorrow”

Note that this half minute message is ninety-two words. This allows it be spoken in half a minute and read in well under half a minute.

Use the “SOUND BITE” principle and your message will have impact.

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