Being in front of a camera can be nerve-wracking. Bright lights, intimidating reporters and microphones thrust in your face. This often happens during a crisis, which can double the anxiety and triple your chance of not highlighting your key messages.
Whether your interview is scheduled or a camera crew shows up unannounced, you must be prepared so you don’t have to hide behind a cookie.
Here are three tips:
- You’re not answering questions, you’re making a presentation. In any interview, your most important job is to make a presentation that showcases your key messages. Define your key messages and take control of the interview so you have a chance to repeat them. Even in a crisis, look at how that can be effective.
- Talk backward. It’s easy to veer “into the weeds” when discussing a subject you know better than the audience. It is especially easy during the heat of a crisis. Always deliver your key takeaway first. Are you talking to the media about the positive economic impact of your solar project? Say that first. Don’t start by talking about the science behind clean energy, there will be time for that later.
- Repeat your messages and stop. People often freeze in front of a camera, but just as often, people can’t stop talking. This buries your key messages, shifting the interview to topics that aren’t aligned with your key messages or even your area of expertise. The media can’t report what you don’t say, so deliver those key messages confidently. Repeat them. Then stop.
Mower has led media training programs for more than 30 years, working with groups ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs and professional athletes to startup companies and private citizens. We prepare spokespeople to take control of interview opportunities, so their key messages reach important audiences.
For more information, contact Andrew Rush, Director of Public Affairs at Mower.