There are dozens of great media training tips, but knowing the ones that can really make the most impact will get you ahead of that game. Let’s look at some of those, because being at the top of the ladder is always a good thing.
There are going to be some jokers in most crowds who want to see you lose it. Don’t make their day for them and ruin yours. Know what points you want to cover when dealing with the media, cover those points while staying in control of yourself and the situation. Don’t bother responding to someone like that, you won’t win, the best you’ll do is put them down, but they won’t stay there, and then you’ve been dragged into the middle of something you didn’t want. Smile and move on.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Look directly at the camera or the person you respond to when you address them. Don’t overdo that look though since that can feel like an aggressive move. When you start your response, look directly into the camera or their eyes and continue to do so for a couple of seconds. You can then shift your focus to another person before looking back. This way you are never staring at anyone, but you are mainly focused where you should be and not looking deceptive or shifty.
Talk the Talk
Slow down, most people tend to talk a little fast in media situations, so talk clearly and make sure people have time to process what you say. Give examples or quick stories that make your point, and put some spirit into your chatter. Modulate your voice, show excitement as needed, and keep people alert to what you have to say to them. Make your points without needing to be asked. Know all the points you want to cover while you are in front of the media and then make sure you do that. Be engaging and entertaining if possible, but always make sure you say what you came to say.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Once media training is completed, spend some time with others practicing what you’ve learned. Find out where you could use more work and what you do well. Then when you are ready, jump in and join an interview for real. Nothing else will totally simulate the real deal, and you’ll get to see that you can do media work effectively.
Whatever type of interview you are giving, in front of a camera, print interview over the phone or in person, or something else, be aware there is no such thing as truly “off the record.” Your interview starts the minute the connection is made, so don’t try to chat for a minute and then say that you are now ready to start the interview. It began when you said hello.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.