How To Prepare For Media Interviews

Stay Relaxed And Alert

Woo hoo! Or boo hoo! You are invited to give a media interview. The “media” I’m referring to includes: print (magazines, papers), radio (phone, studio), electronic (TV, online, social media, webinars) and live (panels, forums, events).

Media interviews spread your message and do your marketing for you. Well, that’s the ideal outcome and often what is dangled in front of you. The reality often falls short and maybe just your mum will stay up to watch the 2am television interview or read the obscure Etruscan Vessels Quarterly magazine. But sometimes, a media interview will generate increased attention, sales and PR opportunities for your organisation.

I Didn’t Say That!
Media interviews are often set up as a series of highly structured and tightly controlled questions and answers. But not always. Here’s some tales of the unexpected which I’m sharing not to frighten you but to help you stay relaxed and alert:

  • Radio Interview – Recently I gave a short radio interview and in the preliminary phone call I was told the theme was famous people who suffered stage fright. Could I provide tips for handling nerves? Well… the interviewer only asked me about tips for giving wedding speeches; the area in which I do the least amount of work. I just scrambled along as best I could, live on air and survived, as you do.
  • TV Interview – A client was invited to be interviewed by a well known current affairs program. She turned up to find a camera operator and a wall which she had to talk to and pretend was a person. Luckily the camera operator was kind and patient.
  • Newspaper Interview – Once you’ve done a few of these you realise that nothing you say bares any resemblance to what gets printed. Do your best not to swear or reveal your mental health problems. Or even that you know what a mental health problem is, because you may find you have one when you read the article the next day!
  • Live Event Interview – A friend of mine was invited with 24 hours notice to speak at a football stadium of 50,000 in Bangladesh, plus multiple TV cameras. She was the only white face and the translator kept every one laughing. However, she wasn’t saying anything funny! My friend realised she had to let go of her nerves and fears of being misquoted. Every one apparently had a very good time and eventually, so did she.

Tips To Handle Media Interviews

  • Be organised and prepared – think about the ramifications of this opportunity and strategise how you can make the most of it. If you are organised, you will think and speak clearly and get your message across effectively. This is not the time to be star struck and rely on “winging it.” Find out if you can “proof” the interview before it’s released and how you can copy and distribute it yourself.
  • Research – read, listen or watch previous interviews by your interviewer to become familiar with their style and expectations. Observe how previous interviewees handled themselves.
  • Who, what, when and why – make up the structure of an interview. Make sure you can answer each. Ensure you have an expert understanding of your subject and are abreast of current hot topics.
  • You may receive a list of questions in advance – if so, practise answering them flexibly off the cuff; don’t memorise because the questions may change. If there are topics you won’t talk about, advise them in writing and remind the interviewer on the day.
  • Live TV, radio or online – remember to follow the host’s directions as they want you to be at your best. Aim to genuinely converse with the host in normal conversation, letting them lead you with their questions. You may enjoy yourself so much you forget this person is not really your friend! You must remember you are there to do a job and so are they… so watch what you say.
  • Stick to your core message – be grounded and clear about your purpose, which is why you have been asked to speak in the first place. Don’t divulge personal or irrelevant details about your divorce, weight gain or fears about handling media interviews… unless they are the topic!
  • Hone and practise your core message so that when you are asked about it, you will articulate who you are and what you offer with ease, authenticity and professionalism.

 

Prepare, Relax And Let Go!

You may find it useful to observe how I handle speaking to a video camera when I present my 3 Minute Video Tips. I use a conversational, natural style to suit my audience (that’s you!) and a specific video message: “Everyone can speak in public with as much confidence and authenticity as they do in their own lounge room.” Choose a style that is right for you, your audience and your message. In the meantime, if you’d like some professional help with handling your next media interview, contact me for private coaching.

© 2014, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Let Your Body Do The Talking

10 Articles And Videos About Public Speaking Body Language

Public speaking confidence and communicating under pressure needn’t be a hard slog or a terrifying ordeal when you know how to tap into what you’ve already got. Here’s a summary of ten of my articles and home made videos demonstrating how to let your body do the talking. Click the Heading to read more…

Stop Freezing Like A Rabbit When You Speak

Freezing when public speaking generally feels much worse to the speaker, than it looks to the listener. A 30 second blank, can look like a pause. Taking time to gather your thoughts is appreciated by listeners because it means you are thinking about what you say in the present moment, not repeating mechanised rote. When I film clients for the first time giving a talk, they are amazed that their occasional blank moments come across as natural pauses…

Look At Me! How To Keep Audience Attention

Trying hard at anything is tiring. And people, well we can just be perverse. If an audience knows you desperately want their attention they will likely choose to not give you any. Stop trying so hard. Who ever said speaking with people had to be hard work? I’m not suggesting you don’t put in any effort – just stop trying to force people to listen to you. Instead, give them a choice and something worth listening to – you…

Should I Sit Or Should I Stand?

Should I sit or should I stand? Believe it or not I get asked this question regularly. For those of you who are thinking, “Pish! What a question!”, there is a lot more going on here. The decision to sit or stand sends a non-verbal signal about your intention to establish authority, power, attention, intimacy, connection and relationship…

Pause Power: Slow Down When You Speak

You do not need to change your essential self and be something you are not. You just need to pause frequently. Imagine where the commas, colons, dashes, fullstops and new paragraphs would be begin if your talk was in writing. That’s where you pause. Give people time to digest. A pause is like a non-verbal full stop. So take a risk and stop. It is only a matter of seconds or a couple of breaths…

The Art Of Making An Entrance

“Da Daa!” Introducing, YOU! And in you come dancing to a funky sound track, boa feather trailing behind, your newly shaved head reflecting the strobe lights… is this the kind of impact you’d like to make? Yup, you would be memorable unless of course your colleagues also read this article and boa feather sales go through the roof. Actually, that’s a nice thought…

The Art Of Making An Exit

Think of a finale as a delicious taste lingering on the tongue. If your speech was a flavour,  what would it be? The lingering velvet of chocolate oohs and ahhhs or a sharp tangy, citrus wake up? I reckon audiences want to be:
engaged (connection), informed (data), inspired (action), in that order. If you engage your audience first, they will listen to your information which if inspiring, will motivate them into action…

Relax Your Eyes And Be A Better Speaker

Imagine your eyes lazing in hammocks, heavy and supported. Miraculously, when the eyes are relaxed, the brain sends a message to your whole body, saying “You are safe and can relax now.” So let your body do its natural thing and ignore any contrary mental self talk when you speak…

Communicating Under Pressure

Some days we wear our pit boots and some days we are fragile as gossamer. Working with people is one of the most difficult juggling acts we perform and many of us do it everyday, at home and at work. Finely turned interpersonal communication skills and a basis of empathy is needed, especially if you are supporting the personal and professional growth of others…

Take A Deep Breath: How To Use Breath To Mange Speaking Nerves

Doncha hate that the very thing you teach, you struggle with? And isn’t it always the way? It’s why hairdressers have bad hair and builders’ homes are half renovated. Too busy helping others and not taking time out for self care is part of the issue, but not the only issue. Helping professionals are often better at giving than receiving. I struggled for years too, but then I came up with a method to help. I call it, “Make It Right For Me”…

Public Speaking Tips For Shy People

I define “public speaking” as “whenever you have a conversation with anyone other than yourself, you are, “public speaking.” So, face to face, phone, verbose or taciturn, whenever you speak with someone you are in fact, speaking in public. We can all benefit from improving our interpersonal skills, no matter your personal communication style. Here are 4 tips for the naturally taciturn to remain in integrity with their natural style…

© 2013, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Speak About What Makes You, Different

Name Your Point Of Difference At Networking Events

Picture this: you are at a networking event. Perhaps it’s a lunch, a book launch or a conference. Amongst others, there are 4 naturopaths, 2 real estate agents and 3 life coaches. You need their services, but how do you choose and what’s the difference between them?

And that’s the crucial question.

In today’s market, there are an overwhelming variety of services and products from which to choose. Creating a unique Point Of Difference (POD) is a strategic way to make your product or service stand out and be noticed.

Generally, people choose their service and product providers based on:

  • Whether they instantly like and trust you, more so than the others.
  • If they immediately understand what you offer and it’s what they need.
  • If they have a recommendation from a friend, so the process of trust has begun.
  • Regularly seeing and hearing you and your marketing so that it feels “familiar”.

To help potential clients recognise your Point Of Difference, build these 4 pathways:

  1. Learn public speaking techniques to build authentic trust, rapport and presence.
  2. Be able to clearly articulate in 30 seconds your Point Of Difference.
  3. Build cross-referrals with related practitioners and make sure existing clients understand all that you do. Don’t forget the most obvious: ask good clients for referrals.
  4. Create a consistent marketing message in a variety of media and share value added information to educate and inform. This builds your credibility and brand so that you become known as the familiar subject expert.

Finally, ask yourself:
Would you choose you?

If your answer is “no” and you don’t have these four pathways clearly laid out, take the time to work out your unique Point Of Difference. If you don’t know what makes you stand out from your competitors, then neither will your clients and they may choose someone else.

Find your authentic voice and message and you will have created your unique Point Of Difference.

© 2009-2011, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au