Executive Rewind: Mastering the “Sound Bite”

It’s a sound bite world.

There’s so much information coming at us every minute of every day, it takes a strong “sound bite” to break through the din.

Instead of resisting it, learn to master it.

Here are a number of very brief (well, after all, they are sound bites) examples. As you watch and listen to them, consider the intended audiences and the effectiveness of each message.

We start with the proverbial (and, in this case, literal) elevator speech by Justin Belmont and his new company, Perkla.

Brad Garlinghouse made the move from an executive position at Yahoo to one with AOL, and brought with him a key impression about attracting employees.

An excellent message meant to compliment his former staff and set the standard for his future staff.

Now, a series of quick “bites” from a variety of business executives. Steve Ells runs the Chipotle restaurant chain:

His message to Wall Street and his customers, both current and potential, on what sets Chipotle apart from the competition.

Mark Cuban is a self-made billionaire and professional sports team owner (the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA). He’s also one of the sharks in the TV reality show Shark Tank. He can be tough and gets right to the point when advising startups:

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson is very clear on what makes his business successful:

Finally, Michelle Rhee is a change agent. She specializes in public education and champions the idea that the student comes first. She’s had her differences with teacher unions. She opposes some of the traditional union practices in public schools, like tenure.

In each case, the sound bite is concise, memorable, and makes an impression. And that’s the code breaker: making positive impressions that help persuade audiences in the way they think, and/or behave on your behalf!

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