Often, we have to pitch the content of carefully worded position papers or briefings to an audience of our opinion formers. You may rock up to pitch at a crucial one-to-one meeting or have present your ideas at a panel discussion that is part of moderated controlled environment.

So here are some easy communication techniques that you can use to translate your policy paper into talking points are for the ear.

Good presenters do the following things. They acknowledge previous speakers or the question, give focus, flag to their audiences what is important. Added to this, they signpost by giving sequence to the discussion and loop back to repeat key messages. The big idea that you must go away with.

Here are 5 things you can do to write talking points.

Acknowledge – the previous question.  Example: “I’m glad you asked me that…”

Communication techniqueIn writing – example phrases
Acknowledge the question / previous point– “You ask about how tech companies can help people in {country} – let me give you some examples”
– “I’m glad you’ve asked me that…”
Focusing: tell the audience (panel) why they should listen– “What we need to concentrate on is…”
– “What I would like to stick to is…”
– “What people should take away from this is…”
Flagging: what you are going to say next is important– “Basically, what it boils down to is…”
– “The most important thing to remember is…”
– “What we need to remember is this…”
– “Here’s where we stand…”
Sequencing to provide signposts – “Firstly, we need to invest in infrastructure, secondly…”
– “Let’s move on to the next thing…”
Repeating (looping back) to restate key messages– “Let me finish up saying again…”
– “So, again what’s crucial is…”

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