Media Interview Tips – Become a Compelling Interviewee
August 10, 2022
How do you become a compelling media interviewee? Whether you are an executive, a spokesperson, or a subject matter expert, being interviewed by the media is an excellent opportunity to share your message and position yourself as an authority. Read these media interview tips from our expert media trainers.
However, for many of us, the thought of facing a journalist’s questions can be daunting. So, how can you make the most of this opportunity? How do you become a compelling media interviewee?
Top media interview tips to help you shine
Plan your takeaway messages
The first step to becoming a compelling media interviewee is to know your messages inside out. What are the key points you want to convey? What is the story you want to tell?
Think carefully about your key messages and prepare them in advance. Keep in mind that the media is always looking for a good story, so make sure your message is interesting for your audience – the readers or viewers.
Use clear, concise language in media interviews
When speaking to the media, the best interviewees use clear, concise language. Avoid using jargon, technical terms, or acronyms. Instead, use plain language that anyone can understand.
No matter how complicated your subject, pitch your language so a 12 year old will understand. This will not only help you get your message across, but it will also make you appear more credible and trustworthy.
Speak in soundbites
In a media interview, you are competing for attention. That’s why you must be concise and get your message across quickly. One way to do this is to speak in soundbites – short, memorable statements that capture the essence of your message. Think about the key points you want to make and condense them into short, impactful phrases. This will make your message more memorable and increase the chances that it will be picked up by the media.
Stay on message in media interviews
It’s easy to get sidetracked in a media interview, especially if the journalist asks you unexpected or difficult questions. However, your job is to stay on message and bring the conversation back to your key points.
If you are asked a question that is not relevant to your message, find a way to steer the conversation back to your main topic. For example, you could say, “That’s an interesting question, but what’s really important to me is…” or “I think it’s important to focus on the bigger picture, which is…” Media training is a wonderful way to practise these key skills.
Be authentic when you speak to the media
One of the top tips to being a compelling media interviewee is to be authentic. The media and your audience can quickly spot insincerity, and it will damage your credibility. Instead, be honest and genuine, and speak from your own experience and expertise.
This media interview tip will make you more relatable and help you connect with your audience.
Prepare for tough media questions
In a media interview, you may be asked tough or unexpected questions. It’s important to prepare for these in advance so you are not caught off guard. Think about the questions you are likely to be asked and prepare thoughtful, honest responses.
If you are not sure how to answer a question, it’s okay to say so. You can also ask the journalist for clarification or more information.
Use examples in your media interview
When you use examples you can help illustrate your points and make your message more relatable.
When preparing for your interview, think about stories or experiences you can share that demonstrate your expertise or support your message. These examples will make your message more memorable and engaging.
Practice, practice, practice
This is our top media interview tip. The more you practice, the better you will become at media interviews. Try to simulate a real-life interview as much as possible, either by recording yourself or by working with a media training professional.
Practice will help you get used to the interview format and give you a chance to practice your message and delivery.
About Benjamin Ball Associates
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Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss transforming your speeches, pitches and presentations.
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