Media training has big part in today`s PR, but it`s crucial to ensure that media coverage comes in right time and to be prepared for it. Having conducted and given a fair number of interviews in the past several years, I wanted to expand on how the interviewee can also take steps to prepare themselves so that the outcome of the interview is having one goal, both parties to be proud of:
- Write bullet points, not big essay
Managers are so busy and they don`t have time to prepare everything for the interviews, however, they are expected to know every detail.
To help them prepare, PR`s pros often provide numerous pages of prepared documents filled with talking points and stats to memorize them.
Providing too many information can be overwhelming and it’s a sign that the PR pro doesn’t want to make a decision or isn’t in a position to make a good one. Good prep materials should have two to three main talking points.
- Pause and Think
Many of us ramble when are nervous. We talk around until we figure out how do we feel or what we think about the question that we need to answer. Instead, just stop. pause and think and the result will be way clear, straight answer.
- Treat every interview like it’s your big breakthrough
No matter what your interview is, each interview is a big opportunity. Someone is interested enough in what you do to want to talk about it. That’s a big opportunity. Take it and be prepared.
- Have a strategy
We can`t control how other people view us or have an opinion about us, however we can control how we represent ourselves. It`s the same with having an interview, you can`t control it but having key statements and good information about your business you might get the right questions.
- Practice, practice, practice
Repetition is the mother of all the knowledge. Do some test interviews and have people that know you as audience, that way you will get experience and avoid any mistakes in an actual interview.
- Keep your answers short
The longer the answer you have to a question, the more likely it will go off message. Having a short and straight answer, you will mark your essential point and ensure that reporter takes the right information from your response.
- Body Language
When it comes to how messages are received, studies show that voice articulation and body language are even more influential than the words themselves. Aim for a relaxed, vibrant face. Avoid sympathetic nodding, which could be understood as agreement. Smile and use natural expressions.
- Always ON
You have to know one thing, there is no “off the record”. Before any interview the microphone is the first thing that gets turned on, even before camera does. So, prepare yourself and talk when they ask you.
As I mentioned earlier, body language is very important and sometimes when having interview we are under impression that if we are serious we would look dedicated to that interview but we are forgetting the most important thing – you are not a robot, smile. If you want your public to feel engaged, you need to smile.
- Camera rolling
No Mather how good we prepare ourselves for the interview there will always be that object that give you the trauma – the camera.
Remind yourself, you are just having a discussion. Forget about the camera. Look at the reporter and have a conversation. If you are using your hands while talk, that’s OK, just keep them low, not in your face. Remember that your body language needs to match your message.
If you want to learn more here is Murray Newlands Media Training Guide for Executives.
Posted by Maya S.