of us have found ourselves in awkward situations where we, or others, said
something that ground communications to a halt. Or, we've left a meeting
wishing we'd said more to advance our position but couldn't find the
appropriate transition to continue making our points.
The frustration of these situations is greatly compounded when this lack
of effective communication occurs before the media, with thousands or
millions of people watching.
In media training, we teach the use of simple devices that allow you to
effectively transition to deliver all of your key messages, while moving
away from sensitive questions.
Walk the bridge: One technique is called a "bridge." This
is a phrase that allows you to make effective transitions. A bridge is
also a great metaphor. Picture yourself walking across a bridge to safety,
away from dangerous issues. Also, picture yourself walking toward your
goals, toward the key messages you are seeking to deliver.
So, instead of answering a question with one message and stopping, you can
bridge to each of your other messages. Examples: "That's a good
point, but the key issue is." " In addition, our research
shows." "Not only have we grown profits, but we've also."
Flag it: The other device is called a "flag." You use a
flag to signal to your audience that a particular point is critical. The
metaphor, of course, is waving a flag for attention.
For instance, in answering a question about your area of expertise, you
might say, "The most important thing for people to remember is."
"The critical issue is." "The focus of the debate is."
Gentle warning: It's important to note that these devices are best used
with some subtlety. Don't be like a presidential candidate, leaping from
one topic to another with no logical transition between.
Carry your flag, and cross your bridge, with finesse. You won't be elected
president, but you'll find you've more effectively communicated with your
president of MainStream Public Relations,
is a speaker, trainer and adviser who helps people and
organizations to work effectively with the media.
To book John to speak or train at your organization,
220-7022 or visit www.mainstreampr.com
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