Talking Points that Bite

by Roger Pynn

With the political conventions in full swing, everyone’s using talking points … and accusing each other of spewing them. But in the business sense, talking points are a useful and important tool in assuring targeted communications.

Needless to say, I was taken aback the other day when a client sent over a first draft of a set of talking points that would be used to keep everyone on track on a very negative situation and found that there were 16 talking points … and, frankly, the real issue wasn’t addressed until #10.

That often happens when too many people get the chance to edit … and in these “track changes” days everyone can easily add a point or two. It is also what happens when we forget the real reason for talking points: they define the most important things we want people to remember.

Whether you are aiming for a small internal audience or hoping to ensure that you’ll get your points across in a media interview, talking points are the three (maybe five) key things you just absolutely have to get across.

It isn’t about sound bites … it is about your message. But if you don’t plan carefully, instead of getting your message across it may come back to bite you.

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