I don’t know about you, but I can’t determine which is more accurate. Everyone is so busy, that they either have the available attention span of a goldfish or a field mouse. I just can’t decide, but what I do know is, if you want your ideas to gain traction and spread, you need to produce some great sound bites.
“But… What’s a sound bite?” you might ask.
Before the actual term “sound bite” had been coined, Mark Twain described the concept as “a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense.” It is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that deftly captures the essence of what the speaker is trying to say. Such key moments in dialogue (or monologue) stand out more strongly in the audience’s memory and thus become the best “taste” of the larger message or conversation. (source Wikipedia)
So, how can you use sound bites to generate web traffic? Derek Halpern shows, in his full article found here, that there are 3 primary elements to creating a good sound bite
#1: The Power of Contrast
When you use two points side-by-side that seem to opposites to each other, but still have a relationship in context with your subject, the effect is both striking and memorable.
“Using contrasts is a real winner. Research shows 33% of the applause a good speech gets is when a contrast is used.” – Dr. Atkinson, the author of Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy: Seven Essential Steps to Success
#2: The Rule of Three
The human mind naturally remembers patterns, and this can be really effective when bringing out your point.
The example Derek so wisely uses in is article is that of Julius Caesar’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, which translates into “I came, I saw, I conquered”. You immediately understand what Caesar means, but more importantly, you will also remember what was said and by whom.
Dr. Atkinson also discusses these in his book “Our Masters’ Voices,” which he calls ‘claptraps’, due to the audience applauding at the end of third point.
#3: Violate Expectations
When an idea has become so ingrained into people’s minds that they feel “it can’t be any other way”, but you know differently, then you can get in there and really shake things up. This was seen when everyone thought computers could only be text driven, but Apple came along and introduced the power of the mouse.
But in more sound bite like terms, we have the phrase “(insert colour here) ….is the new black”. I know it’s totally overdone now, but that’s only because is did it’s job so well… it was the perfect sound bite.
Now, it’s quite likely that you already have a host of usable sound bites in your verbal arsenal. Get in there and have a proper ‘root around’ – you might even surprise yourself. BUT, do yourself a favour and pop over to Derek’s original article to get great insight on how to push this further.