Category: Media Training Tips

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5 Reasons To Pause During Your Media Interviews

Composer Truman Fisher once observed that, “The pause is as important as the note.” His wisdom applies not just to music, but to media interviews, too.

Pauses offer tremendous benefits for speaker and audience alike. But only a handful of the thousands of speakers whose interviews I’ve reviewed have taken full advantage of them.

In this post, you’ll find five great reasons to pause—including a few you may never have considered before.

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Why You Should Avoid “Call And Response” Media Interviews

You’ve surely heard the “call and response” format before. It can be found in jazz and classical and folk music; in churches and synagogues and secular gatherings; and everywhere from West Africa to Cuba to England.

There’s a reason why stage performers have used it for so long. Call and response is easy to follow, holds attention, and often produces a beautiful sound.

But it shouldn’t be found anywhere near your media interviews.

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20 Reasons You Should Not Get Media Training

If you do a web search, you’ll come across many articles telling you why you should get media training. But I’ve never seen a post telling people why they shouldn’t.

In this post, I’ll fill a much-needed gap by offering 20 reasons why you, your clients, or your colleagues should definitely not pursue media training. As examples:

9. You love hearing yourself talk at length, even if your audiences do not.

12. You’re secretly hoping to earn the nickname “loose cannon.”

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Is It Time For Media Trainers To Start Sweating?

I recently came across a new book called Leadership In Focus: Bringing Out Your Best On Camera by filmmaker Vern Oakley.

In it, he writes that media training “can suck all the authenticity out of you and leave nothing but a corporate talking head.” He goes on from there, accusing media trainers of teaching people how to “squirm” and “dodge.”

In this post, I’ll explain why his views of my profession are wrong — or at least vastly overstated.

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The Media Question You Should Always Answer

At the end of many media interviews, reporters ask this final question: “Is there anything you’d like to add?”

They ask that question not only as a courtesy, but to make sure they haven’t forgotten to ask something that would improve their understanding of your topic. Unfortunately, many stressed interviewees decline to add anything and miss the opportunity to take advantage of that final “gimme” question.

In this post, you’ll find four great ways to answer it.

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The Gold Nugget Reporters Want From You (Media Training Essentials)

In this post, you’ll play the role of a reporter. I’ve crafted a typical interview answer, and I’d like you to select which part of the quote you would use in your story.

As you’ll see, that’s not always an easy task, particularly when speaking to interviewees who speak in the “usual” style.

Here’s how to stand apart from your peers and speak in a media-friendly format that vastly increases the odds you’ll get the quote you want.

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A Media Training Mistake I’ve Been Making For Years

One of our firm’s calling cards is that we do a tremendous amount of research before any media training session. At the end of many training sessions, our clients note with appreciation our extensive preparation.

But a comment from a recent client gave me pause and made me wonder if all of that preparation had a downside.

After reflecting on his feedback, we’ve made a meaningful adjustment to our training approach.

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How To Win When You’re Ranked Dead Last

I often get emails from readers saying something like this: “I know you post a lot of media disasters. Do you have a good example of a spokesperson doing things right?”

We’ve posted many good interviews through the years—but since there’s such interest in the topic, I wanted to post one of my favorites, a May 2013 interview with Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza.

At the time, his airline had been ranked last in customer satisfaction by Consumer Reports. Few executives want to go on television to defend such a dismal ranking—but Baldanza appeared energized by the challenge.

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