Media Training: How To Speak During a Media Interview

WHITE NOISE

A client recently told me about a fascinating new approach to television advertising. Some advertisers, she said, are producing 30 second commercials without even a hint of sound.

That approach goes counter to every rule of television advertising. Since the combination of visual messages and audio allows for the greatest probability of the advertiser's message actually sinking in, sound is a critical element. Plus, since so many people leave the room during commercials, advertisers want to make sure those people can at least hear the ad.

So why would a television advertiser leave the audio out? Imagine it's dinner time. Dad is preparing dinner for the kids and has the television on in the corner of the kitchen. Dad's not really watching ? he's focused on cooking ? and the programming is basically just background noise.

But you're an advertiser, and since you're paying good money for that airtime, you want his attention. So the television, which has been providing consistent background noise for the past half hour, suddenly goes quiet. Dad notices, and his head snaps up to see if something is wrong with the set. He might even walk over and fiddle with the volume.

The advertiser has earned his attention. The tactic worked.

Good interviewees apply the same principle during media interviews. They know that on the other end of the radio or television speaker is a person who's cooking dinner, driving the kids to school, or multitasking in some other way. They don't assume that the audience is hanging on their every word; rather, they know they have to reach out and grab their attention.

Seasoned pros do it by varying the tone, volume and pace of their verbal delivery. If they've been speaking at a moderate pace, they suddenly speed things up. If they've been speaking rather softly, they may suddenly become emphatic. By doing so, they've recaptured the audience's attention.

Let's give an example. You're on the radio and are working up to your key point. You've been speaking at a fairly moderate pace, and your volume has been rather steady. As you work your way to your key point, you suddenly slow down and reduce your tone to that of a whisper. By doing so, you've signaled to the audience that something important is coming. All of a sudden, their dinner preparation takes a momentary break so they can hear what you have to say.

ANYONE? ANYONE?

If you remember the 1980s film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you probably remember the sardonic actor Ben Stein playing an economics professor. Standing perfectly still, he would face the classroom with complete disinterest and say, "Does anyone know what this is? Anyone? Anyone?"

That oft-quoted iconic role is still used as the perfect example of a ridiculously boring, monotone speaker. But how many interviews have you heard or listened to that sound pretty much the same?

Although it may seem unnatural at first to speak in varying tones, volumes and speeds, great orators have been doing it for centuries. And since the number of distractions in the modern world have increased exponentially since the time of Cicero, it's more critical than ever to use every tool at your disposal to retain an audience's attention.

Brad Phillips is the founder and president of Phillips Media Relations. He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and headed the media relations department for the second largest environmental group in the world.

For more information and to sign up for free monthly media relations and media training e-tips, visit http://www.PhillipsMediaRelations.com.

In The News:

Washington Football Team Continues Fumbling Its PR  PR News - For Smart Communicators
PR Sports Photo Flashback: July 8, 2020 | Sports  Plattsburgh Press Republican
PR Assistant Internship London  FashionUnited UK

Public Relations: Converting the Non-Believers

What's the real reason some managers shy away from public... Read More

Can Media Coverage Build An Online Business? You Bet It Can!

As someone with expertise in media relations, I've been asked... Read More

Hispanic Media Relations Training: What to Do When Hispanic Media Call

You are a spokesperson for your company, representing it for... Read More

Prep for a Successful Trade Show

Well, autumn is upon us and with the onset of... Read More

A PR Question For Chinese Managers

As the practice of public relations in China continues to... Read More

Media Relations: When Numbers Lie

NUMBERS, NUMBERS EVERYWHEREYou just placed a terrific story on the... Read More

Yes, There is a PR Sweet Spot

And here it is: public relations alters individual perception leading... Read More

Foolproof Publicity for Marketing-Minded Financial Planners

They'd hate to admit it, but the media is pretty... Read More

Perception Persuasion Behavior: PR at Work

Managers ? the business, non-profit and association sort ? really... Read More

Managerial Survival Key

For business, non-profit or association managers like yourself, survival pretty... Read More

Why PR is an Engine for Economic Growth

Business, non-profit and association managers committing their public relations resources... Read More

PR for Brand New Managers

Just promoted to manager?Here's something you need to know.Whether you... Read More

Do I Really Need a Publicist?

Are you hesitating about hiring a publicist or, if you... Read More

Media Exposure Validates And Legitimizes Your Business

Although repetition is extremely important, there are times when advertising... Read More

Using Media and PR to Your Advantage.

Lights...camera...ACTION.That's what often happens when people think of using media... Read More

7 Tips to Get More Mileage Out of Your Online or Offline Publicity

You worked hard to get a story on your business... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Its Not Who You Know But What You Know

Almost every day, I hear the same question, over and... Read More

Speak Up

Another way to really become known in your area is... Read More

How To Get Press To Come To You

Have you ever noticed how the same people's names always... Read More

PR - More Than News Releases

Public relations and news releases are synonymous in the minds... Read More

3 Essential Elements For Turning Your PR Pitch Into Publicity Exposure

1) Establish Rapport, then get the editor/producer excited.There's not a... Read More

Grandma Says...

Southern grandmothers have often said, "there are only three... Read More

Editorial Calendars: A Key to Publicizing Your Business

What is the one thing that all of the best... Read More

Media Relations: How to Get Your Letter to the Editor Published

You may remember Forrest Gump's Vietnam pal ? the one... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Create Your Very Own Story to Get Free Publicity

One big mistake that many marketing-minded financial planners make when... Read More