When you use soundbites and they are executed correctly, they differentiate you as a podcast guest and powerfully improve the interview so listeners are engaged, the host is impressed and your content can easily be repurposed and referred to. Soundbites make you sound professional and help you clearly define your message so that you speak to your target audience, gain popularity in podcasting, and have growth in your business. Listen to Michelle Prince as she discusses the importance of soundbites and how to be a successful podcast guest by using them.
WATCH THE VIDEO VERSION OF THIS BLOG POST/PODCAST EPISODE:
Read the Blog Post: Why Every Podcast Guest Need To Speak in Soundbites
Let us talk about soundbites and why they are so important when you guest on podcasts.
Have you ever wondered why reporters who have interviewed multiple people for the same story choose some people to be highlighted on the 10 o’clock news and not others? I guarantee it has a lot to do with soundbites.
A soundbite allows the reporter to select short, concise pieces of information that clearly define the point the person is trying to make.
Why should we pay attention to this as podcast guests? Often, we are excited to appear as guests on a podcast and tell our stories. However, there is much more to being a good guest.
You also need to think about what the host wants from the show and how you can help them do that – one of the ways you can do that is with soundbites.
Think of sound bites as selling the sizzle, not the steak. Instead of explaining things at length, take the concept and summarize it.
This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual events.
Why Podcast Guests Need Soundbites
I have my own podcast, but I have also been a guest on other podcasts. The guests I appreciate most and like to invite back are the ones who know how to answer a question succinctly. They know there will be many other questions coming their way, so they do not spend the first five minutes answering one question.
I’ll give you an example. When you are a guest on a podcast, the first question is often, “Tell me about yourself or tell me about your business?”
There’s so much to tell! Where do you start? Well, start with the end in mind. What do you want the listener to take home with them? You need to be clear about that message and present it in a way that makes people want to listen.
We have all listened to podcasts where people went on and on, yet they could have easily conveyed the topic in a minute or less.
With a soundbite, the thought you want to share is summarized in a short, concise form. This keeps the listener’s attention, and that’s extremely important. It also makes the podcast editing process much easier.
Going back to my example on news reporters: They are often looking for soundbites that they can use as little advertising messages. They want to tease their audience about what to expect on the evening news. This technique is not limited to the news media: We do the same thing all over the Internet! Imagine all those reels and short videos that entice you to watch or listen more.
One of my favorite soundbites
I help people tell their stories, and I have a favorite saying when asked, “Why should somebody tell their story?”
My answer is usually:
Everyone has a story. And every story matters.
This statement is short and sweet. It pretty much sums up five minutes of me explaining why you should write a book!
Soundbites make you look like someone who knows their message and is totally clear about their business, their book, or what they want to accomplish.
On the other hand, someone who is not clear about their message tends to ramble on, which can be a nightmare for podcast hosts.
Top Tips for Mastering Podcast Soundbites
If you master soundbites, you will stand out in your podcast interviews.
So how do you get good at it?
While I don’t consider myself an expert on this topic, I have learned a few things over the years on both sides of the mic (as a host and as a guest).
#1 Keep it short, clear and to the point. By short, I mean about three seconds. What can you say in a few seconds that will capture the essence of what you do?
If you do not have the answer, now is the time to work on it. If you are scheduled to give a talk, you might have an hour to formulate your message. You do not have that luxury on a podcast, especially if the host has to ask multiple questions.
How can you formulate your message quickly and persuasively so that it comes across clearly?
That leads to my second tip.
#2 Practice. You should practice! But it goes beyond just practicing. Preparation is what makes practice perfect. First and foremost, who is your audience? What is your core message?
We all think we know the answers until we have to stand up and say what we do in 15 seconds or less.
Take the time to work on this until you can speak clearly and concisely to the people in your niche market. It’s important that when you use sound bites, the people you most want to help hear you.
However, this is only possible if you are clear about your core message and your audience. Why are you a guest in the first place? Have a goal, prepare for it, and practice for it.
We repeat the question to create a sound bite.
Let’s say somebody needs a five-second clip as a promo. If the host took about 10 seconds to ask the question and you went immediately into the answer, what happens if they cut that clip just of you?
People might not know what question you’re answering. So always repeat the question.
For instance, when the host asks, “How did you get started in business?” You respond,” Well, I got started in business about…”. Do you see what I mean? This prepares the perfect soundbite, which can be cut and edited.
#4 Don’t be boring.
The tone of your voice is incredibly important for a couple of reasons. When you work on your voice inflection, it is evident when you’re in the middle of your response, or you’ve finished.
That is crucial because the host needs to know when you’re ready to go on to the next question. There’s nothing worse than interrupting someone who was answering a question a little too long than they probably should.
You think they are done and start to ask another question, only to interrupt each other. Often this happens when they aren’t very clear in their tone. You can’t tell when they are getting to the end of their answer.
So don’t be boring. Your voice’s enthusiasm and tonality should signal to the host that you’re done answering that question.
While a soundbite is a technique used a lot in media, it started in the seventies with the presidential election campaigns. The candidates would be asked, “What’s your last comments?” If they had to wrap it all up in one, what did they stand for?
Today, it’s podcasters who need this technique even more. You need to be the person who speaks in soundbites, respects the host and says what they need to say to the point and moves on.
It shows your professionalism and authority. It shows your clarity on your topic and your content. It also shows that you’ve prepared.
About Michelle Prince
Michelle Prince is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, publishing expert, leadership coach, and CEO/Founder of Performance Publishing Group. She founded the “Book Bound Workshop” and has published many successful books, has been a guest on many podcasts and host of her own podcast The Power of Authority Spotlight. Michelle has been endorsed by Zig Ziglar and is a Ziglar Legacy Certified speaker/trainer.