How to Improve Your Media Skills

Speaking to the media has become far more common in recent years for people from all kinds of industries. If you have a media interview coming up, here are some tips to help you feel more prepared and thus present yourself more confidently.

Managing the Media

The prospect of being faced with a media interview – whether it is with the print media, radio or television, can be rather daunting. Common concerns you may have are:

  • You will be mis-quoted
  • You wont be able to get your message across properly
  • You will be made to look stupid
  • You wont make the best of the situation

The worst thing you can do is just try to ‘wing it’ on the day, especially if you are not used to being interviewed. Preparation beforehand is important, so that you can be ready for whatever questions you are asked and you are able to respond in a way that promotes yourself, your company or organisation in the best possible light.

Know your facts

You may be an expert on the topic that you are going to be interviewed on but it is also important to have your facts ready to hand when questioned, as when nerves kick in it’s easy for your mind to go blank. Key facts that may be useful to refer to are facts concerning your:

  • Company/organisation
  • The product or service you provide
  • Financial information
  • Current issues concerning your sector etc.

It is useful to prepare a factsheet to help you remember the most important detail to use in the media interview. You will then be more likely to provide an accurate and clear response when you are questioned on points such as turnover, how long your company has been trading for, how many employees your company has etc.

Know your media audience

A journalist will always be thinking about their audience and what story their audience will be interested in, so it’s also worth you considering this. The more you understand the intended audience, what they are interested in and what are their main issues, the better you will come across in the media interview.

Think about the language you use in the interview- avoid any jargon or abbreviations that your audience will be unfamiliar with. Make it interesting and remember that most interviews are very short, so keep your sentences succinct to avoid waffling on.

Anticipation

Some interviewers act like interrogators who are out to give you a hard time. The key here is to anticipate the difficult questions you may get asked. Think about any current contentious issues that have been recently highlighted in the media.

Write down as many difficult questions as you can think of. Then consider how you might respond to these questions in a positive light. Write down your responses as well. The more you do this, the more equipped you will be to manage any hostility by your interviewer in a calm, measured and confident way.

Your Key Message

It’s easy to allow yourself to get sidetracked in a media interview, especially if you are inexperienced and the interviewer is experienced at manipulating the situation. That’s why it’s important that you establish your key message beforehand. This is the most important message that you want to get across to the audience in the interview.

To help establish a powerful key message – here are some guidelines to follow:

  • It should be simple – the one most important idea you want to convey
  • It should be succinct – so that it’s easy to remember and easy to communicate.
  • It should be memorable – with words or phrases that grab the audience attention

A media interview doesn’t have to be something to dread. With the right preparation it can be a very positive experience and a great way to promote yourself and what you do to a much larger audience.

Media Training from Skillstudio

If you want some expert coaching to ensure you excel at your next media interview and get the media exposure you actually want then Skillstudio are there to help.  We provide:-

Executive Media Training & Coaching  – 121 Coaching
Half day or full day, 121 coaching and training in Media Interview Skills by an expert trainer.  Held throughout the UK and always tailored exactly to your personal requirements.

Media Training Courses  – Public Courses
This is a two-day, highly interactive public workshop designed to build your confidence and the critical media skills required to ensure success at your next media interview. Its held regularly in Central London and Birmingham.

Media Interview Training Course  – In-House Workshops
We can also run our 2-day media interview skills workshop for your organisation on an in-house basis at your premises throughout the UK and Europe.

Call us today on 08456 444 150 if you want to discuss how our training can help you excel at your next media interview.

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