The speaking structure every spokesperson needs to know.

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Think spokespeople simply front up to a press conference on-the-fly, fresh from a meeting, spin off a few words, take questions, then quickly rush away to their next event?

Perhaps some of them do… though I think you can usually tell a well-prepared speaker from a spontaneous one.

In my PR experience, well-seasoned spokespeople stand by a speaking structure that’s guaranteed to help carry their message clearly, accurately and correctly - consistently. Every single time.

Today I’ll share the speaking structure I believe every spokesperson needs to know - no matter your message, no matter what company you represent, no matter where in the world.

The speaking structure is simple. It has three key elements. When mastered in order, or even flexibly, it helps spokespeople stick to their key messages, ensuring the goals in every interview and every press conference are achieved.

1. Key Message.

First, identify your key message. What is the key announcement, clear point or essential message you need to convey? For one of my recent media pitches for an Australian client - the key message was: ‘Australians need to do away with New Year’s Resolutions NOW’. The best advice is to start strong? Jump off the starting block leading with your key message.

2. Why?

Start with clear communication of your key message, then move to the ‘why’. Why should people care about your message? Why are you making the announcement? For my Australian client, the ‘why’ was: ‘old approaches to changing lifestyle habits, including poorly-formed New Year’s Resolutions, isn’t working long-term’.

3. Evidence.

Cement your argument - your key message and your why - with the evidence. For my client, the evidence was: ‘a worrying national health survey: the findings showed only seven per cent of Australians eat the recommended serves of fruits and vegetables daily. More global research found only about eight per cent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions achieve their goals’. The evidence is the strength to your key points. Be sure to have it on hand, understand it, and clearly convey it. 

If you’re a spokesperson yourself, or training spokespeople - keep this three-point speaking structure in mind. Every time you make a point, try to reinforce the reason why, and the evidence to support your claim. 

If you’re being interviewed by good journalists, they will ask these questions at some point regardless - but if you take them there first with a strong speaking structure, you’ll have the upper hand.

Share this speaking structure with all the spokespeople you know, today!

Katie Clift

*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at katie@katieclift.com to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. What are you waiting for? Upscale your media coverage today!

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Katie Clift