Broadcast media training for Executives
Taking part in a television interview is really exciting. A successful TV interview is great for your organisation’s public relations. But what are the things you need to watch out for, and how should you prepare in advance? It’s a very good idea to do some broadcast media training before you get in front of a camera.
I’ve put some top tips for television success together below. If you’ve got any questions or thoughts – let me know below in the comments.
Figure out what the journalist wants
Before the interview, ask yourself why the journalist has chosen to interview you on this topic – what is their angle? What tone does the show generally take? Who watches it? Typically, an interviewee must provide one of the following:
- Something different: A new or unique take on a current affairs topic
- Authority: Are you an expert on this topic?
- Controversy: Agreement rarely makes the news
- Human interest: Were you directly impacted by the story being reported?
- A scapegoat: Are you or your company at fault in this story?
- Shock: Do you have information no one else has made public that would cause shock?
Tip! Journalists like comparisons – bigger, better, worse, unique, unusual, unexpected; these words set clear positions out and put them in context.
Once you’re clear on what your role is, identify key messages you want to get across about yourself or your organisation. Repeat and rehearse them. Role-play likely questions with a colleague and get plenty of practice in answering them. It’s always useful to have some impressive numbers to hand – make sure you have some interesting statistics or impressive figures to draw on during the interview.
Control the interview
Set your stall out from the beginning: “There are three points I want to make here.”
Don’t let the journalist railroad you – they may ask questions you’re not comfortable answering, and a skilled interviewer may ask the same question a number of times in different ways. Rehearse using ‘bridges’ to respond to a question in a way you feel comfortable with.
Here are some examples:
- “The important thing to remember here is that…”
- “Those are your words, not mine – but what I can say is…”
- “It is worth pointing out that…”
Tip! Being unflustered speaks volumes – make sure your tone of voice is measured, and that you are speaking at an appropriate volume and speed. Stay controlled and professional.
Getting your point across
Remember that you’re the expert. Stick to the facts, and don’t allow yourself to be drawn into speculation – this could be held against you at a later date. Show that you understand the context of the story, and how your position impacts others who are involved. Don’t let inaccuracies go, but don’t repeat them either. Once again, bridges can be useful here, for example:
- “That is not my understanding of the situation, but what I can tell you is this…”
Tip! If possible, have a chat with the interviewer off-air before the interview starts to get a clear idea of what he or she is looking for.
If it’s your first television interview, watch this video:
Remember, unless you’re a politician of business leader at the centre of a scandal, most journalists are not there to trip you up. Their goal is to produce high-quality content that is interesting for their viewers. If you can help to provide that, you’re sure to be invited back again in the future.
What broadcast media training tools have you tried and loved? Did you find this post helpful? Leave us a comment with any questions or thoughts and we’ll get back to you.
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