Monday, July 8th, 2013
5 Must Dos for Memorable Talking Points
Greetings public relations, media relations and communications directors! We know you’re the go-to person for talking points. Your executives don’t step in front of a camera or a large audience without getting some magic words from you. What an incredible responsibility. You’re the words behind the face. You slave away coming up with crisp soundbites, or data tidbits to give your executive to practice prior to the reporter’s arrival. But. have you ever wondered why your spokesperson doesn’t stick to what you wrote? The answer is very simple:
Not be too simplistic, but there are some clear ways to prevent them from forgetting their talking points. If you can help them through the following steps, you’ll have much better results:
- Group the points into “buckets”. When the spokesperson can see how the points relate to each other, they can listen for key words in the questions that jog their memory for your talking points.
- Keep the numbers to a minimum. Round up or down with words like “almost,” “more than” or “X percent” so they don’t have to stress about remembering a specific number.
- Find them a story to tell. Help them learn it, own it and remember it. If they struggle with the example you created, ask them to find one that accomplishes the same goal that is more comfortable to them.
- Provide a goal for each interview. What is the one thing you want the reporter to remember after they interview your speaker? If you don’t know, neither does your speaker, so they won’t remember what to repeat or emphasize.
- Meet before the meeting. Business meetings aren’t the only times people should have the proverbial meeting before the meeting. There should be a quick prep session before a media interview that is no shorter than 5 minutes, but usually 15 minutes will suffice with mid-level or highly experienced interviewees. You are the period of transition from whatever they were working on, to the focus of the interview. Without this time, your spokesperson is only warming up during the first 4-5 questions. They don’t find their full stride until the interview is almost over. That can’t produce their best results.
Great communication makes the difference between where you are and where you want to be. If you remember these five key points, you’ll notice your spokesperson’s success improve.
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