Reading from a prepared script sounds terrible, except of course if you’re a newsreader.
This is why I always advise my media training clients to go through the following process when they’re preparing to represent their organisation on camera or radio.
If your company is lucky enough to have a clued-up communications honcho you’ll have heard all this before, but if not….
- Do your prep in plenty of time so you can sort out your key messages and prioritise them. No more than THREE – any more and they will be lost in the ether. Viewers and listeners aren’t writing notes while you’re talking so keep it simple.
- If you’re worried about forgetting them, use BUZZ words which will spark your mind into action – for example, Pity, Praise, Promise. If you don’t have time to memorize them, write them down on a piece or paper or even the back of your hand – remember, it’s not school so ‘cheating’ is allowed here : it’s the message that matters. If it’s a recorded interview and you feel that you could have done better, ask to do that bit again. This may also help you to set the agenda for the interview.
- Don’t be afraid of repeating one particularly important point as repetition is a good way of hammering home the message.
Media training clients often say to me that they’re nervous about being interviewed. I always respond with a positive – “Great – that’s a good thing!”
Given the circumstances, it would be far more worrying if you weren’t nervous. But showing that you’re nervous CAN be kept at bay, enabling you to perform really well under pressure with a bit of media training.
Our intensive media training workshops help you to manage the media in an effective way so that a camera or microphone in front of your face isn’t nearly as intimidating as you’d imagined. Indeed, I’ve found that once the adrenalin kicks in, most people rise to the challenge and perform really well.
So it’s Prep, Prep, Prep and Buzz words.
Oh yes, and NEVER copy politicians – they’re a breed to themselves (no offence intended).
Well, not much. :-)
PS If you want to read Being Interviewed – Practical Tip Number One, click here.