So, who knew that there's a proven formula for trash talking, and that someone has spent time studying and cultivating this fine skill? The NYT sports section had a story yesterday that reported on NY Jets linebacker Bart Scott's trash talking skills and how he hones them. As the article says:
linebacker, Scott views trash talking as an art, or science. He has
developed and refined his method. He has studied loquacious athletes
from years past. And he has practiced, from the first day he tugged on
a uniform all the way to Sunday, when he will unleash another torrent
of mostly unprintable barbs on the Atlanta Falcons. His mouth
runs 365 days a year....
In PR we are supposed to make nice and play diplomats, But you never know when you might have to mix it up a bit with friends or colleagues (also we have a foosball table at Fusion PR, and the competitive play sometimes goes into over drive). The tips could come in handy for our clients, for when they are walking those trade show expo floor "mean streets" or rubbing shoulders with the competition at conference panels.
Over the years Scott has gotten inspiration from professional wrestlers, and by studying trash talking titans of yore like Muhammad Ali. He boils the formula down to 3 steps:
1 Research – to better understand opponents, especially any Achilles heel they might have
2 Mix Fact with fiction, exaggerate (in a clinch, can always use Yo Mama! jokes)
3 Know your audience, save best stuff for last