The phrase ‘media training‘ is enough to send a shiver down most people’s spines.
The media often conjures an image of politicians squirming in their chairs as their grilled by journalists.
Our minds jump to the worst possible scenario and suddenly we’re in a panic.
The reality is that, unless you’re the prime minister, the scrutiny you’ll face will be much less severe.
In fact, most journalists are nice people with fair questions.
So, how can we get over this fear?
Here are three tips to help you cope with your next interview.
When the stakes are high, the stress can cause us to ramble.
The irony is that a media interview is the very worst place to lose control over your words.
Thankfully, there’s one simple trick we can use to avoid going off on a tangent.
It’s that simple.
Take a breath, pause, and think.
What was the question?
Where are you going with this answer?
What are you going to say next?
Keep yourself in control with powerful silent pauses.
As a journalist, I’ll wait for your answer.
It’s my job to get a useable interview, and I’ll give you that space to consider your answers.
As youngsters, we’re taught to nod along as people speak.
It’s polite and confirms to the other person that we’re listening and engaged in the conversation.
However, if there’s ever a time to avoid active listening, it’s in an interview with a journalist.
Look at our politicians as examples.
Whenever they’re faced with a journalist, they put their own media training to use and remain still.
They keep a plain facial expression coupled with stationery body language.
Does it look a bit rude? Sure, you could argue that.
But it protects them from the dreaded “sting in the tail question”.
Imagine they were to nod along to a seemingly positive question that quickly turned to:
“Do you regret failing to resolve this issue sooner?”
And there they are on camera nodding along as they’re asked if they regret an issue.
You can picture the headlines now.
In this scenario, the best thing to do is keep that poker face until you know what the question truly is.
Rushing your way through an interview is understandable.
We do it to speed the process up and get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
But it has the opposite effect.
When we rush through our answers, we give the journalist the opportunity to ask even more questions.
Plus, we have much less control over what we say and this is where issues appear.
Most people worry about interviews because they fear saying the wrong thing.
The faster we speak, the more likely that is to happen.
An important part of media training is getting your pace correct.
Slow it way, way down.
You’ll find you have much more time to plan what you’re going to say and will construct a stronger answer.
Dealing with the media can be daunting.
Let us put your skills to the test.
Email us today to find out more about how our media training works.
Our team of ex-broadcasters and journalists are ready to help build your confidence on camera.
We’ll come to you, or you’re welcome to visit our Glasgow studios.
It’s time to invest in you.
Some media trainers knock you down…and leave you down. Our media coaches show you how to deal with each knock…and still win through. So you have the presentation skills to perform – with confidence.