In our media training, I am often asked, what can I do to in a media interview to increase the chances that the reporter will use what I say? Well, I would recommend the “Bookend Approach” to responding to questions. This is a great approach in any presentation as well.
When we are asked a question, the natural tendency is to start with the background information and lead up to your main point at the end. Instead with “Bookending”, reverse that. Think about what is your bottom line or headline, and deliver that first. Then give some supporting background information, sight a data point or simple statistic that back up your headline or tell an example story of your headline. And then, deliver your headline again at the end. You can use the exact words you used at the beginning.
Repetition is good. The more a reporter hears something, the more they might think, “He keeps saying that. I guess that’s what’s more important. Perhaps I should use that in my story.”
You’ll hear good spokespeople use this approach all the time. Try it when talking to the media or during your next important presentation when you really want to get a message across.