Is it too late to offer up some New Year’s Resolutions?
My resolutions are mainly around losing weight, but then I rarely do interviews with the media (and when I do, I try to follow my own advice!).
So here are my 5 media training resolutions for anyone in the front line for their organisation, who has to give interviews on TV, radio or with newspapers. If you don’t want to make any resolutions, think of them more as media training rules for every interview you do in 2014.
Media training rules
- Don’t ever do an interview off the cuff: always give yourself time to think about it, to prepare. Without preparation, you won’t be clear about what you want to say, how to say it and what might be asked.
- Make sure you know your subject and more: research all the potential issues and topics which might be brought up. We have all heard the journalist’s final throwaway question: “While you’re on, can I jus ask you about …”
- Work out what your key messages should be and take every opportunity to make them during the interview. Ideally include them in your first answer and your final answer (and those in between), as the first will help you to take control of the interview, and the last, your final thought, is most likely to be what listeners will remember of what you said.
- When you’re preparing, think about how you will illustrate the points you want to make: if you can use examples, anecdotes, analogies and personal experience that will help you connect with your audience.
- Be yourself & don’t try to take on someone else’s persona. The most memorable and effective interviewees are those who are natural, authentic and conversational, and who are not too formal.