Talking with Fellow Citizens
Sometimes, how you say something is just as important as what you say. Below are some tips for talking with your fellow citizens to help you be the most effective communicator and successfully spread the message about No Labels and the principles that drive our movement.
- Seek common ground. Establishing areas of agreement, whether with an individual, small group, or large audience, is a great way to build trust and create opportunities to positively engage—and change minds.
- Stay positive. If you are on this website, you probably are pretty frustrated with the tone of our politics. While talking about your frustrations is necessary sometimes, it’s also important to frame these frustrations in a positive way by focusing on the benefits of working together and finding common-sense solutions to issues that impact all Americans, regardless of political party.
- Be relaxed and calm. Nothing encourages someone to tune you out like a lecture or losing your temper. Even if you strongly disagree with what someone is saying, don’t get angry and don’t be condescending. Everyone has a right to their own opinion (even if it’s wrong).
- Keep it simple. Even if you are really into politics and like to get into the nitty-gritty of policy debates, that may not be the case with the person or people with whom you are communicating. It’s best to present straightforward arguments that focus on key ideas, and only get into the details if doing so is natural and seems like it will be effective in engaging your audience.
- Keep it personal (and local). Tell your fellow citizens how the issues you are discussing will impact them, their families and businesses, and their communities. We all care about how politics and policy impact our nation, focusing on the personal and local will help make issues more “real” and make you better able to communicate the urgency of the need for bipartisanship.
Always have a “to do” ready. If you successfully engage someone, you don’t want to waste the opportunity to create a new advocate. To help keep them engaged, always have an “action item” prepared that allows them to continue and deepen their engagement (such as attending a town hall, joining your local No Labels chapter, writing to the local newspaper, etc.).