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How do you develop talking points?

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Quick Answer

An individual develops talking points by determining the goal of the meeting or communication, and then listing the ideas he needs to convey in order to achieve the goal. These ideas are talking points. They form the basis of meeting agendas, and they give individuals and groups of individuals a consistent vocabulary with which to communicate important information.

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Office meetings, sales presentations and press events are examples of conversations in which talking points are useful. In each of these, talking-point development begins with establishment of an agenda. According to CBS Money Watch, the individual who creates the agenda usually controls the meeting.

If the agenda is the meeting's roadmap, the talking points represent the journey's waypoints. They consist of a series of points the planner needs to make in order to move the conversation toward the desired outcome, in a way that allows the planner to tell the audience what the planner wants them to know. A teacher who wants a budget increase for new classroom equipment, for example, might list clear benefits the equipment provides to students. If the teacher expects opposition, he will also need to anticipate specific arguments against the purchase and create talking points that answer each of those specific arguments.

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