Editor’s Note: Brad Phillips is taking two weeks off to celebrate the arrival of his new son. This guest post is by Amanda Jones, a social media analyst for the public relations company Vox Optima.
It’s the day before the critical media interview or big meeting with your CEO, fellow employees or even worse, a client. You are going over last-minute details of your talking points or presentation. You think you have it all together, and you feel great.
Soon, it is the day of the big event, you are – again – going over the last-minute loose ends, and you’re ready to nail the interview or land this new opportunity. Sounds great?
Sounds great until, well, it isn’t. Someone asks a question you didn’t think of, gets you off track, and you lose your train of thought.
Suddenly all of your preparation evaporates. This is probably because you didn’t practice presenting all your material, or you didn’t practice it all enough! As Brad Phillips mentions in section eight of his book, “The Media Training Bible,” it’s all about the research, the preparation and the practice. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect. Whether learning a new language, riding a bike, or doing media interviews and presentations, you get better with time.
So maybe you’re wondering, “How can I possibly take time every day to practice perfect media strategies? I don’t have time for that!” You don’t necessarily have to spend hours a day on new techniques and methods, but asking a few simple questions after each conference call, meeting, or brainstorming session can make the difference at the next interview or presentation:
- 1. Ask yourself what you could have explained better
- 2. Ask yourself what you left out
- 3. Ask a mentor or coworker what you could have done better
- 4. Keep a journal of your personal ideas and questions, and take it a step further by jotting down great ideas you see from others
Actively seeking out ways to improve your delivery and presentation skills builds a better you and helps you grow into a better media professional. By constantly challenging yourself and practicing solid techniques, you’ll get those wheels turning in your mind to not only improve your strategy but also to start thinking strategically more often.
Keep practicing, and soon you’ll find yourself more confident and successful — while avoiding those awkward-panic moments.
Amanda Jones, a social media analyst for the public relations company Vox Optima, has more than seven years of expertise in communications and marketing. With experience in front of the camera, behind the camera, in print, marketing, and PR, Amanda is a true traditional and social media junkie. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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