Talking points act as reminders during an interview or the presentation of a project or proposal. In public relations, talking points are not only important but useful when disseminating information. While they may sound like an easy task, effective talking points follow a couple of rules and structure. Read on to find out how to craft talking points that will get the main message across.
Talking points: What they are and how to write them
Talking points are short parts of a sentence that direct a public speaker about the main point during an interview. For example, if the idea is to talk about fuel, talking points will include things like fuel distribution and fuel prices. Talking points reinforce the key messages. Even though they might seem similar, there are a few differences between key messages and the main talking points.
A talking point is a communication tool that drives the key message or the main idea home. Key messages are single ideas under which talking points fall. In a presentation or radio interview, a speaker always has one broad idea or message where talking points can be constructed.
Key messages explain the “why” of a company and the talking points elaborate further and give the context of the main idea. Good examples of key messages include aspects of why clients should choose a certain brand. If an organization states that its services are safe to use, because of software and authentication procedures, then the safety part is the key message while the software and authentication parts are the talking points.
How to write talking points
A good talking point includes the purpose of the communication or conversation. It should contain a personal story and achievable results. Lastly, it should have a call to action to ensure or encourage public participation. Writing talking points calls for a specific structure. They have to be accurate and factual without runarounds. In order to write effective talking points, one must be ready to be concise and get straight to the point. The following are tips to keep in mind when developing talking points.
Prioritize the main points
When writing talking points, it is important to prioritize. To present key messages effectively, one must determine the most important ideas to talk about. In public speaking, especially in forums where the speaker will interact with the audience, the main message should be on top of the discussion.
A communicator should always write talking points bearing in mind what weighs mostly on the clients or the public. Audience feedback or questions should not feel like something new because the speaker knows what is important.
While there might be a lot to discuss, picking the main points and delving deeper into them makes an interview more worthwhile. An audience will remember fewer key messages that were extensively covered than many topics that were slightly covered. Remember the quality of the message triumphs over the number of ideas that speakers address.
Focus on facts
An organization that wants to convey important information should base its arguments on facts. Data is helpful and can give confidence to the one giving speeches because he or she is looking at an actual number that can prove his claims.
No one should expect a speech to make an impact without data to clarify and emphasize the main point. Talking points should be loaded with examples or case studies that prove the information being disseminated is true.
With social media, it is fairly easy to get data, which is easily available and accessible to everyone. Organizations should encourage their target audience to look at what people are posting online and identify the truth from such information.
Depending on the type of interviews that speakers engage in, it is important to prepare thoroughly. It doesn’t matter whether it is a radio interview, television interview or a boardroom presentation, preparation is key.
Extensive research on a topic will make sure the interviewee is not lost for words when an interviewer raises questions. Being prepared gives a person the confidence to deliver correct information without faltering.
For radio interviews, it is important to understand that the interviewer is looking for a catchy word that is engaging. Preparing talking points for radio interviews requires clear talking points that the audience feels they respond directly to the argument.
Be straight forward
One word or short sentences can create the best talking points. In order to communicate effectively, the conversation should be short and engaging. No one wants a boring speech that goes on and on without addressing the topic.
Talking points need to focus on the main points while discussing ideas that cover the message extensively. In an interview, a person should create and present concise points which deliver the message without ambiguity. As communicators set to speak to their audience, they should understand that clear talking points reinforce the importance of an argument.
Getting to the point shows that the spokesperson is confident in his message and should any questions arise, he is ready to respond. When addressing negative matters, organizations should strive to give solutions to the problem without being dodgy.
Anticipate questions and answer them
When developing talking points it is always a good idea to include a number of questions and their answers. The questions should stem from the key messages. Responding to issues even before the audience addresses them shows the confidence of the person communicating.
Professional communicators should expect questions from their listeners and should be prepared to respond appropriately. But before the audience gets to ask the questions, those speaking should touch on those areas and clarify their points.
A communicator should address the main talking points and thereby exuding confidence to the audience. Of course, the one speaking should be presenting valid information and should not hesitate to quote the data sources.
Emphasize a win-win solution
When presenting an argument, it is important to include solutions at the end of the conversation. Solutions give the audience an idea of what they can do to contribute to the main talking point. They also constitute a call to action section.
A win-win solution provides answers to the problem at hand and is beneficial both to the communicator and the audience. An example would be the introduction of an overtime program for a company that did not offer the same previously. The employees would make extra money and the organization as well.
Including a solution in a speech shows the inclusivity of everyone. For radio interviews, those listening will feel like a part of the key messages that the communicator is talking about. The one giving the talk should remember to give contact details at the end of a speech so that the audience can get in touch.
Examples of talking points
Talking points should always include examples that help those receiving the message understand how it can benefit them. No one will contribute to a mission without being shown scenarios and how their efforts would be of importance.
The first example of a talking point can be why clients need to buy a certain product. The talking points would be as follows, the first talking point would be the benefits of the product to the client. The second key point would be the cost of the product compared to other industry competitors. The key message in this scenario is why the client should buy the product the company is offering.
The second example of a talking point can be in the form of improving employee efficiency in a company. An executive will present a proposal to employees stating that efficiency will be achievable by providing the employees with incentives and introducing flexible work shifts.
What to avoid when writing talking points
When writing talking points should avoid long and full sentences. Talking points need to be short and direct. When someone is giving a speech, they should not be reading from their cards, but a quick glance at the card will keep them on track. If an organization is in need of effective talking points, A firm like Murnahan Public Relations can help out. To develop public relations talking points, organizations need professional consultants who understand how talking points in speeches, media interviews, and press releases can differ.
Bring in the Murnahan PR Team
If an organization is ready to prepare for media interviews and press releases they are ready to put its best foot forward every time. That’s where Murnahan Public Relations comes in.
As a knowledgeable public relations firm, we’re well equipped and ready to help you master media communications in a variety of ways. We can offer media training for you and your staff, provide your brand with staff members to assist with media prep or public relations, and even give you, the executive, unbiased feedback about your performance. All of this will help ensure that your future interviews yield stellar results.