Media Training: Seven Ways to Instantly Improve Your Media Interviewing Skills

Imagine if you were going to address a stadium full of people. You'd probably spend hours (if not days or weeks) agonizing over every word you were going to say. You'd practice your gestures in the mirror. You'd carefully select your clothing. You might even rehearse with your family.

Surprisingly, though, many spokespeople don't give much thought to an interview before speaking to a reporter. "It's only one person," they may think, "Plus, I know my material cold."

Preparing for a media interview ? during which you may reach many more people than could fit in a stadium ? should be at least as important as preparing a speech for that rowdy crowd.

Here are seven ways you can help prepare before you speak to a member of the press:

1. Visualize An Audience of One -- Reporters are simply the conduit between you and the audience. Don't try to impress a journalist with the depth of your technical knowledge or envision an audience of thousands. Instead, visualize the woman listening to news radio on her drive home or the man sitting on his living room sofa reading the morning paper. That personal connection will help ensure that you're having a conversation with the audience instead of speaking at them.

2. Write Tomorrow's Headline -- Every time you give an interview, the reporter should walk away with a clear sense of what the headline will be ? and you should be the person who gives it to her. Prior to each interview, write down your perfect headline. It should be short ? no longer than a sentence ? and completely compelling. During the interview, state your headline several times, and place as many of your other answers as possible within the context of that headline.

3. Play Bridge -- Reporters rarely ask the "perfect question" that allows you to deliver your ideal headline. Therefore, you'll have to seamlessly segue to your point. After answering a reporter's question directly, bridge to your headline by saying something such as, "But I think the most important thing here is..." or "The bigger picture is that...."

4. Help Them See It -- Since people are barraged with more information than they can retain, raw numbers and statistics rarely stick. Instead of just delivering information without context, develop a more user-friendly metaphor. For example, instead of saying that 4.5 million people have Alzheimer's disease, say that more Americans have Alzheimer's disease than Colorado does people.

5. Be a Layman -- Every profession has its own set of acronyms, specialized terms, and jargon that is not understood by the general public. Successful spokespeople know they have to express complicated thoughts simply to ensure their message resonates. Use metaphors, analogies and anecdotes to help make your point. If you're stuck, try explaining your topic in simple terms to your 12-year-old nephew until he understands it.

6. Accentuate the Positive -- If a reporter asks you an innocuous question, repeat back the question in the beginning of your answer. For example, "How is the weather today?" should be answered with, "The weather is beautiful today," instead of just, "Beautiful." Since a reporter's question is unlikely to be included in the story, speaking in complete sentences allows the journalist to quote an entire self-contained thought.

7. Eliminate the Negative -- If you are asked a negative question, such as, "Has your organization ever broken the law," do not answer by saying, "Our organization has never broken the law." Doing so connects illegal activity and your organization in the same sentence ? something you never want to do. Instead, frame your answer in positive terms by saying, "We are confident that we have always complied with the law."

Brad Phillips is the founder and president of Phillips Media Relations (http://www.PhillipsMediaRelations.com). He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and also headed the media relations department for the second largest environmental group in the world.

In The News:

Here is the ‘American Idol’ top 7  Atlanta Journal Constitution
The Best Foods for Runners  Shape Magazine
The Top 7 PPC Strategies for 2019  Social Media Today
Top 7 most toxic plants found in Ontario  www.insideottawavalley.com/
Here’s the ‘American Idol’ top 11  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Top Ten Listening Skills for Speakers

Good Speakers need good listening skills to become Great CommunicatorsSpeakers... Read More

International Shipping/Freight for Dummies

There are lots of benefits for some businesses to import... Read More

The Warning signs of Online Fraud and How To Avoid It

The number may seem grim for Web-based commerce. In 2004... Read More

How To Use The Power Of Focus To Build Massive Momentum In Your Business

Getting focused on what you want to achieve and creating... Read More

Increase Business Profits - Ten Ways

How do you increase business profits? Answer the following questions... Read More

10 Tips to Successfully Use Business Networking as a Marketing Strategy

Networking is probably the best way to build a profitable... Read More

The Top 10 Reasons Businesses Succeed

Only one of every 5 businesses makes it to its... Read More

10 Dos and Donts Of Customer Services

Email etiquette is the key to help calm down anxious... Read More

7 Reasons You ARE Your Own Best Product, or Lessons From the 2004 Presidential Election

The 2004 election is over--at least in the minds of... Read More

How To Make $20.00 For Every $1.00 Invested

It has been said you can lift the Rock... Read More

7 Tips for Home Business Start-up Success

1) Prepare a realistic business plan.Think of this as your... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Turn Clients Into Raving Fans

Do you find great joy in being a coach? If... Read More

Ten Tips For Staying Connected While Working Alone

Ten Tips for Staying ConnectedMany of my business clients tell... Read More

How To Finally Unlock Your True Potential And Discover The Secret To Lasting Success

Did you know that there is one critical difference between... Read More

Ten Top Performance Management Tips

Talk to Your People Often By building a great... Read More

The Seven Secrets of Top Performers

Let's put to rest the fallacy that success, in sales... Read More

10 Tips for Effective Proofreading

Proofreading may not be terribly fun, but it's one of... Read More

Never Sell Again: Get Repeat Business and Avoid the Need to Prospect

If you're a business owner, you know that repeat business... Read More

The 7 Keys to Business Success

Do you run a business that seems to run you?... Read More

Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life

Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your... Read More

7 Money Saving Tips to Decrease Home Business Expenses

We all know that running a home business is highly... Read More

The 10 Benefits of Cross Cultural Training

Cross cultural differences can and do impede upon communication and... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Start a Business For Less Than $500

We've heard numerous success stories of Internet entrepreneurs like Jeff... Read More

Top 10 Stumbling Blocks that Limit Business Growth

Never in history have more entrepreneurs launched more new businesses!... Read More

10 Compelling Reasons Not to Downsize

Almost daily, newspapers, business magazines, radio and television carry reports... Read More