How To Write Talking Points: Steps and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

March 17, 2021

Professionals use talking points in various situations in the workplace, including when making a proposal and presenting a project to a team or employer. Talking points help to keep the speaker on task and remember key information that must be mentioned during the presentation or other talking event. Knowing how to write effective talking points can support your ability to convey information and ensure all essential information is covered. In this article, we'll explore what talking points are, steps to take to write talking points and tips for creating effective talking points.

What are talking points?

Talking points are typically short lists of information or ideas that professionals used when giving speeches, making presentations, discussing projects or any other situation in which covering important information occurs. Talking points support a person's argument and ensure they remember to bring up the most important components of their stance. These points help individuals remain focused and organized so that arguments and speeches are delivered effectively and concisely.

How to write talking points

The following are steps to follow when writing talking points:

1. Determine the purpose of your talking points

The first thing you must do before writing talking points is to determine and define the purpose of your message. There are several factors to consider when doing so, include:

  • Who your audience is

  • What setting you'll be presenting your talking points in

  • What you're primary mission is

  • What type of emotion you want your audience to feel when you deliver your talking points

  • Why your audience should care about what you're saying

It's a good idea to make a list of the answers to all of these questions before writing your talking points. This will give you a clear idea of your primary purpose and help guide you when creating each talking point.

2. Organize your ideas

Next, organize your ideas in separate categories to make it easier to write them. Examples of categories that are helpful when writing talking points include your mission, your personal story, the result of your suggestions and a call to action. The more organized your talking points are, the better you'll be able to deliver a compelling and concise argument or speech.

Related: What Are Organizational Skills? (With Examples)

3. Create two to five main talking points that support your purpose

When writing talking points, it's important to focus on only a few rather than several. Best practices for writing talking points suggest focusing on two to five main points that you'll discuss. These main points will support your argument or ideas and help you prove your primary message.

Keep your talking points short, clear and to the point. Consider creating your talking points from important keywords or use brief sentences that include only the most important information you want to discuss.

Here are a few examples of short and clear talking points:

  • Flexible schedules would benefit employees by promoting more work-life balance

  • Flexible schedules would benefit the company by increasing employee satisfaction

  • Flexible schedules would reduce time taken off

4. Support each talking point with an example

You should also include a specific example to support each of your talking points. Examples are a great way to make a lasting impact on your audience. They can be personal or professional examples that clearly show the importance of the information you're discussing.

It's important to only use one or two examples for each talking point to avoid overwhelming your audience with information. Fewer examples will also support a more concise and clear proposal or speech.

For example, if you're arguing for your company to implement a flexible schedule program, you could use an example of a time when you had a doctor's appointment that required you to take the day off. With a flexible schedule, you could have worked on a different day to make up the missed work rather than having to use a PTO day.

5. Focus on any win-win scenarios

If you are arguing a point or presenting a new solution to an issue, include a win-win scenario in which everyone benefits from your idea. Presenting a win-win solution shows your audience how they will benefit and why they should care about what you have to say. In other words, rather than simply presenting identification of an issue, provide viable solutions on how your audience can address the issue.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definition and Examples

6. Include a call to action if appropriate

Providing a call to action that your audience can act upon is a great way to encourage action and increase the likelihood that they will support your cause or mission. Examples of calls to action to include in your talking points are signing a petition, purchasing a product or giving a donation. The call to action should be specific to your message and result in a direct benefit that supports your cause.

Related: 51 Call-to-Action Examples and Why They Work

Tips for writing talking points

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when coming up with talking points for a presentation, speech or other workplace situation in which you need to present your point of view or ideas:

  • Include your contact information: If you are giving the audience a call to action, you should also include your contact information or the contact information of the organization you represent. Contact information can include an email address, a phone number or a website. This shows that you are willing to speak with and listen to individuals regarding your cause or proposal.

  • Use a clean format: The best way to organize your talking points is to use a clean bulleted list with your primary message at the top of the page. Each new talking point should have its own bullet. You can indent bullets underneath each talking point to include examples.

  • Practice your talking points: Practicing your talking points with a colleague or friend is a good way to ensure you cover all important material and that your points are concise and effective. Ask the person you practice with for feedback, including whether your main point was clear and whether your examples truly supported your talking points.

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