Anybody who is doing a media interview and says they are not nervous is someone you should truly worry about.
Nerves are an essential part of any media interview.
All opportunities to do live or pre-recorded media interviews are an opportunity for you to get your messages across and explain your organisation’s perspective.
If you go to air with no nervousness, there is a central element missing. That element is adrenalin. Without that, your performance may be flat.
To get the best out of any media performance, you simply have to have “an edge”. AND you have to be ready for anything.
Without doubt, if you go into an interview over confidently, you may get caught out.
Media Key Public Relations has trained many major executives over the years in effective media handling techniques. We are a leading Australian PR firm with huge experience in the field.
We have trained people all over Australia and helped organisations out of all kind of crisis issues. Crisis management is critical because brands can be damaged in minutes by negative media exposure.
This includes massive organisations like Myer, BP, Shell and many more.
We have assisted all types of people getting ready for media experiences.
One of the most critical things you must do is be in the right mindset.
Put simply … you should never do a media interview until you are good and ready.
You need to place yourself in a state of mind where you can easily connect with all the information you want to impart – and be ready to use that information as needed.
Under no circumstances should you ever believe you are in full control. You are not.
The media interviewer is in control of how the interview is going to be done … and what questions will be asked.
The media are not going to tell you what they plan to ask in advance – nor should you ask. In fact, you knowing may make things more complex!
You can control how you react and what you say. You can control how you come across. You cancontrol your tone.
You can control your key messages … and how you choose to use them.
Prior to any media interview with any organisation always prepare a minimum of ten simply bullet points.
We call them “must says”. The things you simply MUST say.
These are key points that you are going to say no matter what is asked.
Prepare and hone your key messages carefully.
Within the first three minutes highlight the KEY points you are trying to get across and the reasons behind those points. Don’t wait to be asked.
It is vital you use passion and authenticity.
It’s critical you stay on message and know where you plan to take the interview – as best you can.
If you are there to follow the lead of the interviewer and answer all the questions you are asked, you effectively have almost no control. If you do that, you will be herded towards the relevant paddock by the media interviewer.
Generate key messages that you want to get across. Include interesting and catchy lines that relate to your points.
To prepare properly allow anything up to a few hours (minimum) where you make a list of any possible lines you wish to use.
People that work with you may want to add information into the melting pot…. the more points you have initially the better.
Once you have a list of messages it is then vital to edit them down.
Ultimately you should have at least five central points you want to make in any interview … no matter what is asked.
On top of that you should an additional five points you intend to make if you can get to them.
Obviously it is very important to stay constantly composed, constantly clear and constantly focused on what you are trying to say.
Use explanations where you can. If you can include some humour, it will assist with the messaging.
When preparing your bullet points be aware that you want people to remember what you are saying and be interested in your messages.
Add dramatic language … it is going to help you.
Do not react with aggression to any interviewer – it is business. Stick to you guns, explain your points and stay focused.
Finally, expect the unexpected and embrace that moment when you get a question that you could not have possible foreseen.
If a curveball comes from nowhere, you may wish to repeat the question in your first line and say, “I really am glad you asked that”. By the time you have repeated the message and expressed your gratitude, it is likely your incredible brain will have found some kind of answer to a question you never expected.
All media interviews are a performance. It is not a natural environment.
You have every right to your nervousness beforehand.
It is that exact adrenalin that will deliver a killer performance.
Ross Woodward has media trained hundreds of people over the years. He has also done literally hundreds of interviews – some on TV and many on radio. He cannot understand why people don’t want to enjoy media interviews more because they are always an opportunity to get the message across.
We are a Melbourne based PR firm operating across Australia.
Media Key is a leading PR firm in Australia passionate about helping companies deliver clear messages to relevant audiences…
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