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.

How To Answer Tough Questions Walk The Ladder

How To Answer Tough Questions #1: Walk The Ladder

In this post—the first in a new occasional series about how to answer tough questions during media interviews, presentations, and job interviews—you’ll learn a technique that will help you reframe hostile questions and answer them directly (but on your terms).

You’ll also see a video of Steve Jobs demonstrating the technique brilliantly.

And if you never do public speaking, you’ll be able to use this device the next time your partner snaps at you for neglecting your chores.


One Of The Biggest Misconceptions About Media Training

When I search Twitter for the term “media training,” I frequently come across a tweet that suggests that a celebrity or politician who said something controversial “needs media training.”

In some cases, that’s true. But I’ve often observed that many people reflexively want to send everyone who’s ever uttered a controversial or provocative comment to media


Should Working Journalists Also Be Media Trainers?

According to The Toronto Star, a Toronto news anchor has been suspended due to concerns about a possible conflict of interest:

“Global Television news anchor Leslie Roberts has been suspended from the network after a Toronto Star investigation found he is secretly the part owner of a small public relations firm whose clients — lawyers, small


The “Secret” Media Training School For Republicans recently ran a fascinating piece about the “GOP’s secret school,” in which candidates learn how to interact with the media. The school is a reaction to the high-profile crises the GOP has inflicted upon itself in recent years—from Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment to Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad—and party officials

Spokesperson Defends

A Surprise For People Who Think They Hate Reporters

I’ve worked with many people who don’t trust or like the media. But one recent group of trainees from a public entity was more emphatic in their hatred of the press than I’d ever encountered before.

This group constantly felt besieged by a rapacious press corps that couldn’t be satiated, and they believed that reporters were


Say This 10 Times: “I Am Not A Wikipedia Page!”

“Our company was founded in 1922.”

Whenever I hear a speaker say something like that, I think, Who cares? That piece of information, presented without context, could lead the audience to have one of two reactions:

1. “Wow, they’ve been doing this a long time. They must know what they’re doing.”

2. “Wow, they’re


How Do You Rank On “The Plane Test?”

You’ve just boarded a plane. You arrange your bags, remove your reading material, and say hello to the stranger who will be your seatmate for the next six hours. (For the purposes of this post, let’s assume your strategy isn’t to instantly put on your headphones and tune your neighbors out.)

The person seated next to

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