The ‘sound bite’ has taken such a bad rap, and I want to wage a campaign on its behalf!
For a while now, the sound bite has been right up there with ‘spin’ in terms of its public image, but even spin is unfairly maligned. Former Clinton White House spokesperson Mike McCurry called spin “a self-interested selection of facts.” What’s wrong with that? The sound bite is pretty straightforward and, like its name suggests, is basically a bite of sound, or a few digestible words. That – in this world of long-winded-information-dumping speakers and presenters – is a good thing!
As communicators, we do not need to be defensive or apologetic about either one – spin or the sound bite. Instead, it’s our challenge to use them well!