I was listening to NewsTalk’s Down To Business last Saturday as the show’s host, Bobby Kerr, interviewed Wayne Byrne from Oxymem, winners of the 2014 Innovation of the Year at the Irish Times & InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards (you can listen to the interview here about 22 minutes in.)  Oxymem produce a piece of technology – a bubbleless aeration solution – for wastewater treatment, which isn’t the easiest thing to get your head around particularly on a Saturday morning.

As Wayne tried to explain what his company does to listeners, Bobby quickly jumped in with this classic line – “With all these things, I try to summarise them into one sentence and with your concept what I did was – it saves energy when it breaks down sewage.”

Simple and straight to the point.  Exactly what you need when you’ve got a limited amount of time to explain what you or your product do.

We should all ask ourselves the question, can I explain what I do for a living in one sentence.  The best audience to test your answer on is your mother, because if she understands then you know you’re on the right track.

First impressions count, particularly in broadcast interviews as if you lose your audience from the outset, then they are likely to drift off and not pay attention to what you are saying.  Bobby played a blinder as the host by giving context to the audience for what Wayne’s product does, instantly making the interview more accessible.

So next time you are preparing for an interview, it’s worth bearing Bobby’s advice in mind and making sure you can explain what you do in one sentence.

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Piaras Kelly
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