Don’t make a wookie mistake with your media training…
We’ve all seen or heard an interview horror story, whether it’s a brand spokesperson who doesn’t quite understand the story she’s communicating or a celebrity storming off after some awkward questions. Or, best of all, a string of ‘no comment’ answers in a live interview.
Luckily, these scenarios can be avoided with some professional media training.
Our resident media trainer, David Elliott, is one of the best in the business and regularly puts our clients through their paces under the watchful eye of former TV news hack, Clearbox’s Daniel Lynch. Here are some of Daniel’s tips on avoid preparing for the perfect interview. He’s the one on the right in the picture, by the way.
Lights. Camera. Run Away
Helping clients with media training is something we take seriously at Clearbox. How a client is seen by the public is a key part of how people will feel about their brand.
Too confident brings the risk of appearing arrogant. Too nervous looks untrustworthy. There is a delicate balance to be struck.
Good media training can help even the most nervous of people build up the confidence to appear on camera, live on radio over the phone or in studio. It all comes down to practice and preparation, some of which clients can work on alone. We like to give them a few pointers though…we’re nice like that!
Getting used to seeing and hearing yourself on film or on mic is one of the biggest hurdles.
Very few people naturally have the self-confidence to overcome this, but it can be coached.
Dummy interviews recreating real life scenarios should be done regularly and reviewed critically.
Smart phones have cameras and voice recording apps, use them to get a rough idea of how you look and sound, but remember you’re likely to be your own harshest critic.
Keep all your interviews watch them back to learn for the next time. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you progress.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Pesky journalists and their questions…
I was once told as a journalist if I wasn’t annoying someone I wasn’t doing my job.
Most encounters with the media will be fine but be ready for the curveball question as a follow up to the easy ones. A journalist will rarely lead with their ‘big’ question; they will hit you with it last. The only way to prepare for this is to practice by having a friend or colleague “interview” you and throw in a few curveball questions to see how you react.
It’s only easy if you know the answer
Know your stuff. It sounds obvious, but it’s important to have the key messages on the tip of your tongue for interviews. Knowing and being able to confidently say set phrases can help relax you in an interview – but don’t make it sound robotic or rehearsed. Vary it slightly if you can or journalists will quickly pick up on stock answers.
Knowing me, knowing you
Watch and learn.
Regularly watch and listen to programmes that are relevant to your business.
Look at how interviewees are presented on screen and listen to how they answer questions. Compare radio and TV treatments of stories and you’ll quickly pick up what can be expected in each scenario.
It’s only showbiz, darling.