SoundBites

SoundBites is a creative pack of speaking prompts. Combine fun with skill building and enjoy a practice session in a box! You can play solo, but it’s even more fun to play in a group.
SoundBites Box & Cards
The SoundBites pack is divided into four color-coded sets. Each color-coded set offers three unique games focusing on a specific skill set. You get a total of twelve unique games. Download a sample.

You can shuffle the color-coded sets together to create a random deck, or separate them by color to pinpoint a specific communication process.

Players typically have 30 to 60 seconds to complete each communication task.

As you’re playing, you can enhance your skills by following the SpeechSkills Codes of Conduct for posture, gesture, voice, eye contact, and more. To check your performance, or to enable players to evaluate each other, you can use our helpful Self-Evaluation Checklist.

Remember, you can raise the level of difficulty at any time by focusing on particular skills—such as volume, posture, or eye contact—while you play.

Color-coded sets focus on specific skill sets:

Blue “Straight Talk” cards focus on delivering information in simple, concise language:
  • Give easy-to-follow instructions on how to scramble an egg.
  • Explain the meaning of “Caught between a rock and a hard place.”
  • Explain in terms a six-year-old would understand why a ball rolls downhill.

Green “Personal File” cards focus on sharing stories or personal points of view:
  • Share a memory about a time you couldn’t stop laughing.
  • Describe how your life might change if you could read a book just by holding it.
  • Name three modern inventions you don’t want to live without, and why.

Purple “Justification” cards require the speaker to construct a creative argument:
  • Provide a convincing definition for the gibberish word “smuftish.”
  • Give a compelling argument that a sunrise is... 1) hostile, 2) joyful, 3) predictable, 4) hard working, 5) expensive, 6) visionary. (Roll a die to choose the adjective.)
  • Offer a compelling pitch to sell swim goggles to 1) a prison guard, 2) a nun, 3) a circus clown, 4) a stock broker, 5) a dog trainer, 6) a hypnotist. (Roll a die to choose a customer.)

Orange “Grace Under Pressure” cards focus on finding the perfect words in challenging situations:
  • Deliver a motivational speech to a nest of baby birds on the eve of their first flight.
  • Give tactful feedback to your very attractive date who continues to call you “Kerry” even though your name is Kelly.
  • Use your powers of persuasion to convince someone in the room to give you a wake-up call every morning for the next week.
SpeechSkills SoundBites cards
Boxed set of 360 impromptu-speaking topics — $149.95
Thirteen Ways to Jazz Up Your Game While Developing Your Skills

These thirteen “add-ons” provide a simple twist to the basic game to make your practice sessions even more amusing and rewarding.

Knock Your Socks Off
To practice literally “keeping a level head,” answer your prompt while balancing a folded pair of socks on your head. Or better yet, have everyone wear socks. Challenge yourselves to keep the expression and energy dynamic, without letting the socks fall.

Hands Up!
This game helps players learn what 3-5 seconds of eye contact feels like. At the start of each round, all listeners raise a hand as if asking a question. The speaker’s goal is to get all of the hands down by individually holding eye contact with each listener for at least three seconds. Once the speaker initiates eye contact, the listener should count silently to three before lowering his or her hand. If the speaker darts away and comes back, the listener should start counting again from one.

Snap Two
To master the skill of pausing, snap your fingers twice at the end of each of your sentences. Or, select one of your fellow players to snap for you. Be sure not to allow any accidental fillers within the pause.

Stand and Deliver
Instead of answering the prompt while seated, raise the level of difficulty by having all players answer while standing at the front of the room. Be sure to focus on strong posture, strong voice, and strong eye contact.

Popsicle Stick Challenge
To master the clarity of your articulation, grip a Popsicle stick between your front teeth and speak as clearly as you can. By forcing your lips, jaw, and tongue to work especially hard, you’ll train yourself to develop clean, crisp articulation. (Stir sticks, chop sticks and pencils work equally well.)

Filler Flag Game
While the speaker focuses on eliminating “uh”s and “um”s, select one listener to briefly raise a hand to “flag” any accidental fillers. To keep it playful, you might even create a small orange penalty flag.

Penalty Duck
To help speakers eliminate an unconscious habit – such as playing with hair, cracking knuckles, or spinning a wedding ring – enlist the help of a little rubber duck or other squeaky toy. Every time the speaker slips into the accidental behavior, give a penalty squeak!

Stack the Deck
Instead of drawing cards at random, have players selectively choose cards for each other to challenge weak spots.

Fifteen-Second Sound Bite
This variation requires everyone to answer the same prompt, but each answer must be 15 seconds or less. It’s a great way to practice being concise.

Emotional Rollercoaster
To help develop emotional range and expressiveness, players must draw two cards – an impromptu topic and an emotion to display while answering. The facilitator can create cards ahead of time or have players jot down emotions on small slips of paper to be thrown into a hat. Some ideas include: Surprise, Sarcasm, Jubilation, Horror, Playfulness, Skepticism, Pride, Thankfulness, Embarrassment, Uncertainty and Self-Doubt, Regret, Excitement.

Split Personalities
In addition to drawing an impromptu card, the speaker must choose a “personality” to adopt while answering. The facilitator can create cards ahead of time or have players jot down character types on small slips of paper to be thrown into a hat. Some ideas include: Impassioned Preacher, Carnival Barker, Valley Girl, Drill Sergeant, Game Show Host, Zen Master, Mad Scientist, Drug Dealer, Bohemian Poet, Town Gossip, Preschool Teacher, Absent-minded Professor, Aerobics Instructor, Rapper, or Stand-up Comedian.

Worst Nightmare
To learn to keep your focus under difficult conditions, practice speaking to a deliberately unreceptive, bored, and distracted audience. For one raucous round, encourage other players to interrupt the speaker with off-topic questions, carry on side-conversations, write text messages, come and go from the room, take calls, and/or send confusing, non-verbal signals.

Devil’s Advocate
To learn to keep your composure under fire, practice speaking to an argumentative, contentious, and overly critical audience. As the speaker answers the prompt, encourage the other players to push back, poke holes in the speaker’s arguments, and challenge his or her ideas. This variation works especially well with the Purple Justifications deck.
SpeechSkills SoundBites cards
Boxed set of 360 impromptu-speaking topics — $149.95