Category: Presentation Training

Answers questions on blackboard

How To Prepare Questions For Your Own Media Interview

A reader recently wrote in and asked: “I am slotted to go on a local television show, and the interviewer asked me to provide a list of questions for her to ask me. Any suggestions for questions, or tips?”

It’s common for time-pressed television or radio hosts to ask guests for a list of questions in advance. That’s not a guarantee that they’ll stick to your questions, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to shape the interview—and its outcome.

Here are five types of questions you might prepare.

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Middle-Aged Media Dog Learns New Media Spokesperson Trick

“Treat every television news camera as if it’s rolling.” That media training mantra goes back to the dawn of the television era of electronic news gathering.

Is the camera on a tripod? Act as though it’s rolling. Is the camera slung over a journalists shoulder? Act as though it’s rolling.

But when it comes to recorded on-camera interviews, there has always been that quiet internal assurance on the part of even the most-experienced spokespersons that you could start over. Not so fast.

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What To Say When You Disagree With Your Company Policy

I recently worked with two clients facing a similar challenge.

One was a spokesperson for a local politician with whom he disagreed on a particular high-profile decision. The other was a representative for a cultural organization whose leader made a decision that he strongly opposed.

In both cases, the clients struggled when trying to answer the often-difficult “What is your personal opinion?” question. Here’s what they ended up saying.

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Advanced Media Training Tip: The “As You Know” Construct

Reporters occasionally ask questions that they know you can’t answer for legitimate reasons.

Three little words—“as you know”—can help shift responsibility for a non-answer from the spokesperson back to the reporter. That response sends a message to the audience: this reporter is asking questions that she knows the spokesperson is not allowed to answer.

As you (probably) know, this technique can be risky. This post will help you determine how and when to use it.

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Cooking

Five Ways To Rock A Television Cooking Demo

Remember that old game of coordination in which you had to try to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time?

Television cooking demos can often feel similar—but with the addition of hot flames, sharp knives, and unpredictable hosts.

We’ve worked with dozens of chefs through the years and have observed that on-air cooking demos, which often last only two or three minutes, deserve a place on any list of challenging media formats. In this post, you’ll find five tips to help your next appearance run smoothly.

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The Media Training Lesson I Learned While On Safari

While on a South African safari in 2003, I received an instruction I’ll never forget.

Before leaving for a nature hike one morning, the guide turned to our group and told us to form a tight single file line. Lions, he informed us, tended not to attack a line of people—such lines appear to the lion to be a single large object and are therefore too threatening to attack—but lions harbor no such reservations if one person strays from the pack.

I recently experienced something during a training that made me think of that moment.

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The Other “What Is Your Personal Opinion?” Trap

In my book The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview, I wrote about the hazards of answering a “personal opinion” question.

In this post, you’ll find that excerpt. But after reading it, you’ll find a second trap question the book doesn’t address—and it’s one you should be aware of before a reporter catches you off guard.

You’ll also see an example of how something so seemingly innocent can become troublesome, and quickly.

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Why Three Is The Magic Number For Interviews And Speeches

During our media training workshops, we typically recommend that people develop three main messages. During our presentation training workshops, we often suggest that speakers focus on one main theme supported by three supporting ideas.

Several trainees have asked: “Why three?”

There’s not a perfect answer to that question. But there’s a pretty good one.

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