Media Training Faux Pas to Avoid
Interviews can be quite scary; they are often in a foreign environment with a lot of pressure on you. An underprepared person can feel overwhelmed, and this can affect how you come across. If you are representing a large corporation or your own company, a bad interview can adversely affect your business. But a good interview can mean a boom in business. Media training helps you come prepared to give a great interview and allows you to react to any curveballs thrown your way. It will help you avoid these common mistakes.
- Number one is don’t wing it. Walking into an interview unprepared is a recipe for disaster. Before an interview you should sit down and think carefully about what you want to say and what you don’t want to comment on. If you feel you can strengthen your statement using specific facts, then use them, but make sure you have correct sources and even take a list of references with you to the interview. This way you are less likely to be blindsided by a question.
- Don’t let go of control. It is very easy to get caught up in an argument about something you are passionate about. Interviewers will often push your buttons, looking for a reaction or for you to say something you shouldn’t have. Remember to breathe. If the interviewer is being pushy or unreasonable, take a moment, breathe in and out, and compose a polite and concise reply. They never publish the questions, only the answers, so don’t give them something they can take out of context.
- Don’t bend the truth in any way. We live in the information age, if you lie or mislead you will be caught out and then it will look even worse. Often an interview will be about a negative subject regarding your business or organization. It will always be worse to lie and try to cover it up, and get caught out rather than telling the truth and apologizing. Be honest and acknowledge any wrong doing.
- You shouldn’t ramble on when answering a question. Taking a long time to answer a question looks bad on your behalf. It is also takes up time, possibly preventing you from answering more important questions. When a question is asked, concentrate on what you specifically want to say and then say it as concisely as possible. If you aren’t sure what the interviewer means by the question, then ask them to rephrase rather than trying to answer without fully understanding.
- Don’t complain about what they take from the interview. A reporter will never provide all the details of an interview, simply because most people are only interested in a few key statements. If you feel they have twisted your words, then contact them, but be polite when asking to correct the record. Don’t whine or be rude. Often it is not even the reporter whom made the decision to print what they did, by an editor higher up in command.
If you follow this advice you should be able to handle most media interviews, but it is always a good idea to get proper training form a company such as The Michael Group – a worldwide multimedia production company.