by Randall P. Whatley
Whether you are making a business presentation or communicating with the media, your most important objective should be to make your point clear and memorable.
The following are three simple and effective techniques to make your point clear and create sound bites and quotable statements:
Speaking well is not necessarily the same as writing well. When speaking, use the "verbal colon" to draw attention to your main point and create a sound bite.
You would write, "The important point I want to make is that despite the storm damage, we will open on schedule."
Using the verbal colon to draw attention to your important point, you would say, "The important point to remember is this: Despite the storm damage, we will open on schedule."
Other good verbal colon phrases include the following:
Make use of the "inserted question" to focus attention on your words. Anytime you use the word "because," when writing, insert the word "why" before it when speaking to draw attention to your main point and create a sound bite.
You would write, "We have added many safety features to our building plan because we do not want even one injury on this project."
Using the inserted question, you would focus attention on your statement by saying, "We have added many safety features to our building plan. Why? Because we do not want even one injury on this project."
Make your points in short sentences, preferably with six to ten words.
"We hope this solution solves the problem for good."
Randall P. Whatley is president of Cypress Media Group, an advertising, public relations, and training firm. Cypress Media Group provides training primarily related to business and technical writing, presentation skills, and media relations. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.