Mastering the Media

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Here’s the scenario: You’re about to present a speech to several hundred people or you’re about to give a live television interview. Sounds easy, right? But according to most studies, people list public speaking as their number one fear.

NASA conference

Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Here’s the scenario: You’re about to present a speech to several hundred people or you’re about to give a live television interview. Sounds easy, right? But according to most studies, people list public speaking as their number one fear.

Number two is death.

Come on. Is speaking in public really that hard?

Uh, yeah… it is.

Succeeding in relaying your message takes practice, persistence and perseverance. And you only get one chance.

Several months ago, I was asked to sit on a panel in Las Vegas. I media train clients on a regular basis so I got this, right? I did… to an extent.

A colleague said, “Just wing it. You know what you’re talking about.”

Wrong. You never wing it.

Here are some basic interviewing tips to get you ready!

chris.corwin

Photo: University of Missouri School of Journalism

 

PREPARE.

Prepare answers to what you already know about. You are the captain of your trade and know the ins and outs of your profession. But also be prepared for the toughest questions.

Gather your thoughts. Write them down. Prepare to move from these questions to the message points you want to relay.

Remember to prepare and don’t try to memorize your speech or your answers. If you get flustered or trip over your words, there’s no going back. You might as well throw in the towel.

Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Photo: Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

PRACTICE.

Ok, so you prepped your notes and your thoughts. This can take several hours or days depending on when your speech or interview is due.

Now stand up, talk and walk. This will help you verbally convey your message.

If you’re comfortable, use hand gestures. If not, hold on to a pen.

Better yet, talk to your bathroom mirror. Do it over and over until you are comfortable with your content and with yourself. Monitor your body and facial language.

Be concise but avoid one-word answers. Use short sentences, active verbs and layman’s language.

Never be prepared to say “No comment.” No comment IS a comment. It almost equates to saying, “I’m hiding something.” Instead you can say, “That’s a good question, but right now I don’t know.” You’re not lying. You honestly don’t know. Remember: You are in the driver’s seat, not the reporter.

Mish Sukharev

Photo: Mish Sukharev

 

DRESS TO IMPRESS.

 Keep it simple and wear what you’re comfortable in.

Guys: Wear a simple suit and tie. Black shoes, not black sneakers. Easy on the Old Spice.

Gals: Wear a dress. And don’t wear heels more than two inches high. Easy on the jewelry and make up.

Some people who smoke like to have a cigarette before a speech or interview. Go for a stick of gum instead. You can suck it up for an hour.

You now have the prescription to media training success. You may need more hand holding than the person next to you – and that’s not a bad thing. You recognize you may need assistance. That’s when

our media training company steps in. Good luck and go get ‘em!

For more information, visit www.TheCynthiaDanielCompany.com

Cynthia Newdel

 

By Cynthia Newdel
Cynthia Newdel is the Booker for FOX5 KVVU in Las Vegas. She spent seven years with FOX News Channel in New York where she booked interview segments for Neil Cavuto. Cynthia also freelances as a local media trainer and public speaking advisor.

 

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