Have you ever watched someone conduct an interview on TV and felt awkward watching it because the guest appeared nervous or unprepared?
They need media training! Many times, I’ve cringed watching the TV thinking this… and sometimes, yelling it.
What is Media Training?
Most business owners want media exposure for their business. With that, comes TV, radio, podcasts, etc. Being on-air, whether it be just your voice, or your face and your voice, is very different from something that appears in print on text online.
Because you are seen and heard, you need to be prepared. This is where media training comes into play.
Knowing how to speak to the media as a business owner or a spokesperson is vital. It could make or break your brand.
Media Training 101
With anything, practice makes perfect. When I act as a media coach for clients, I go over some of the tips mentioned in this post. We practice them. Create a video. Watch the video. Then, repeat it all again from the beginning. These strategies are the starting point. You will take them with you before and during an interview. After a few on-camera experiences, they will become a habit.
Media Training Tips
1. Be conversational.
When you ignore the camera to the side or the people in front of you, this helps you to be more conversational. You will come across comfortable, natural, and more likable. You won’t appear nervous and when you appear like you are just having a conversation with someone, it makes for a better presence… and you will be remembered!
This means NO SCRIPT. You don’t talk from a script in normal conversation, so don’t memorize one.
2. Dress for the part.
Don’t wear a suit if your brand doesn’t warrant it. If you’re an attorney, a suit works. If you’re a personal trainer, sport your gym clothes. If you’re a chef, throw on your chef hat. Other than that, I suggest a shirt with your business logo or simple patterns with bright colors.
The day of the Miami Heat parade, I dressed the part. Yes, I was reporting, but I was at a fun event celebrating the Miami Heat, so I wore a White Hot Heat t-shirt!
3. Know what you want to say.
Don’t memorize what you’re going to say. That’s when you get tripped up and stumble over your words. Instead, make a list of bullet points that are vital to your brand. Use those points to deliver a conversation and engage with the audience.
If you’d like to share the bullet points with a member of the media to help fill them in on your expertise, make sure they are just bullet points. If you try to write a journalists script for them, you won’t only leave them insulted, but you may never be invited back. It’s the equivalent of telling someone how to their job.
Don’t worry, they did their research. They know all about you and they know what they want to talk about. Yes, what THEY want to talk about. In an interview, it’s not what YOU want to talk about. (If you want that, you need to buy an advertisement.)
4. Speak in soundbites (or quotes.)
Say what others cannot say. By this, I mean use the emotion behind your business and brand. Anyone can tell you about a product or service. Only you can talk about what makes your product or service amazing and different.
When I sat down with “The Situation” we didn’t only sit in a tanning bed (very much his brand), but he spoke in a way no one else could because he is so unique… like you are!
You are the face of your brand, so speak from your point of view.
5. Be animated.
For the same reason on-air talent and stage performers put on a little extra makeup and a little extra hairspray, you need to put on a little extra personality. Things translate differently on TV and on stage, so if you aren’t acting extra excited about what you’re talking about, you may look bored.
Media Training Course
Because media training is such an important part of media relations, I have included extensive training in my online course Master your PR. Check out the free version, a five-day email course, here.