The recent outages at Blogger gave me a chance to finish up a presentation that I have been working on for a while: "Talking Points and How to Use Them." I've added the presentation to The Texas AIDS Network Advocate's Notebook on our website.
The Advocate's Notebook is intended to be a nuts and bolts approach to advocacy. I add a nut or a bolt now and then. This particular nut (or bolt) comes from the experience of sending out a newsletter with a list of talking points. The group of local advocates that I was working with had talked about the need to divide up the various points among several speakers so that there would be some variety in the speeches being made at the hearing they would be attending. The points were duly divided up; people had their topics and were ready to run with them. And then one of the dear people in the group got up to say his piece and simply read the entire list of talking points.
It was not, of course, the end of the world. We had to laugh at ourselves for being so intense in our preparations. Nonetheless, I'm thinking it doesn't hurt to have a little more explicit discussion of what talking points are and how they might be used available--just in case.