In case you missed it, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio repeated almost verbatim the same soundbites FOUR times! It was not only comical, but a case of speaking suicide and homicide: killing his audience and his credibility.
If you’re ready to make a presentation, speech, or give a point of view at a meeting, here’s help to avoid committing this crime.
- Keep Extra Ammunition in Your Pocket – if Mr. Rubio had alternative soundbites in his pocket, he wouldn’t have sounded like a robot. My advice: over prepare for what you think they will ask…and then add more Q&A to your prep time. Don’t forget to engage a friend, colleague or coach (me!) for help.
- Remain Present – What I mean here is to follow the conversation and debate in real time; don’t remain so focused on your soundbite that you forget what’s really going on! I often find in radio interviews that hosts aren’t really listening to my answers, but preparing for the next question – exactly the antithesis of my advice.
- Repeat Soundbites Selectively – A great technique for having your audience buying-in to your message, is to repeat it sparingly, but forcefully. For example, the cadence of Martin Luther King’s great speech is driven by the repetition of the phrase “I have a dream.” Don’t unintentionally repeat yourself, but if you do, laugh it off. Marco would have been better off adding a self-deprecating line such as, “Did I just say that?”
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.