10 techniques for crafting sound bites that resonate

Soaring oratory is all well and good, but it’s the crystallization of thought that endures in people’s memories. Try these approaches to making your message stick.

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Few people can compose captivating sound bites in a single sitting. Don’t give up. You can develop media-friendly sound bites.

Great sound bites are all around you. Listen closely during conversations with friends and colleagues. What are intended as throwaway comments during casual banter often contain a gem worth saving—so keep pen and paper nearby to record the unexpected verbal emerald or sapphire.

Marcia Yudkin, the “Head Stork” of Named At Last, a naming and tagline development company, came up with 17 tips to help spokespersons create memorable sound bites.

I highly recommend her e-book The Sound Bite Workbook. Among other ideas, she advises spokespersons to brainstorm a list of keywords related to their topic area, look in a thesaurus for unexpected word options, and identify relevant homophones.

Below, you’ll find 10 types of sound bites the media regularly quote, along with examples for each. (Thanks to Marcia for her help with this list.)

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