Pick any three Sunday morning political/talk/current events shows, like Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Meet the Press with David Gregory, or Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Watch the ones that share your brand of America’s political parties if it makes you more comfortable. And ignore the politics (that isn’t the point of this exercise). Instead, watch and listen carefully to the guests. Notice a few things.
First, the guest commentators are have strong, focused answers. No matter how tough the question, they have an answer that doesn’t sound like it just fell out of their mouth for the very first time. They already know the questions they are going to be asked, and they are well rehearsed in their responses. They know what they need to say to score points.
Second, notice how the guests from one brand of political party sounds very much like the rest of the other guests from that political persuasion. They may put their own spin on the answer, but the themes, ideas, and points that they make are very much the same (minus an occasional oddball commenter thrown in to shake things up).
Finally, notice how the commentators stay on point. They don’t stray all over the place trying to bring in a bunch of new ideas and new points. They have chosen the best language to convey their message, and they stick with it. Unless they hear one of their peers make a point with particularly effective language, in which case you can watch that language be picked up and used to replace less effective language choices. It spreads like wildfire.
Your talking points should be the same. You don’t have to sound like you are reading a script, but you should know what you are most likely going to be asked and how to answer, including the language to explain something complicated, if need be.
If you manage a sales team, they need to sound very much like the examples you see on Sunday morning shows. They should all be on message, make effective arguments, and succinctly speak to your value proposition. They should also share their best language with their peers.
What you say matters. How you say it matters. Language is influence. Write and study your talking points.
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