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.


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.


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.


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.

Bernie Sanders Interview Walk Off

The Bernie Sanders “Walk Off”: Four Options When Reporters Go Long

A reporter from NBC’s Phoenix affiliate recently interviewed Sen. Bernie Sanders regarding his chances in Tuesday’s Arizona Democratic primary.

After answering one of the reporter’s questions, Sanders stood, removed his microphone, and made clear the interview was over. The resulting video was posted online with the headline: “Bernie Sanders Walks Out of Interview.”

On the surface, that appears like a reasonable headline—but a few relevant facts make clear that’s not exactly what happened. And it leads to a question: What could Sanders have done better?


Oops! I Have That Thing You Just Denied Saying On Tape.

I recently heard a story about a company spokesperson who got himself into trouble during a media interview.

While speaking to the reporter, he called one of his group’s critics (and occasional partners) a negative term. When the article came out, his bosses were furious.

He denied everything, insisting that he hadn’t used that term and that the reporter had distorted his words. But there was one thing he didn’t count on.


Five Ways To Incriminate Yourself During A Media Interview

I recently came across a funny video clip from the television show Judge Judy that features a young man who didn’t know when to stop talking.

When I finished laughing at his unwitting admission of guilt, I thought about the things spokespersons do that can lead an audience to shift their impressions of them from innocent to guilty in mere moments.

In this post, you’ll read about five mistakes we regularly see during practice interviews with our clients — and learn how to avoid them.


Should You Ever Make Your Opponent’s Case For Them?

A reader recently asked whether it is ever safe to make an opponent’s argument before shooting it down:

“There’s the advice about not repeating any criticisms of yourself. But what about repeating positive statements that are commonly made in favor of a prevailing viewpoint, before showing why they’re inaccurate? Does that help reinforce the invalid statements and damage your case?”

Bringing up your opponent’s case before shooting it down can be effective — but there are some important rules to consider first.

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