How to give a stand out media interview

Media interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they’re also an opportunity to showcase your expertise and build your reputation.

Whether you’re speaking to a journalist on the phone, appearing on TV, or taking part in a podcast, there are a few key things you can do to make sure you give a stand-out interview.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Preparation is key to giving a successful media interview. Before your interview, research the journalist and their publication or programme. What topics do they cover? What angle are they likely to take? What are their readers or viewers interested in? You should also prepare some key messages that you want to get across during the interview. These should be concise, memorable and relevant to the topic at hand.

For example, if you’re being interviewed about your expertise in sustainable fashion, your key messages might include:

  • The importance of sustainable fashion in reducing the industry’s impact on the environment
  • Your own work in creating sustainable fashion lines
  • The challenges facing sustainable fashion and how they can be overcome

By preparing in advance, you’ll be able to speak confidently and fluently about your chosen topic, and ensure that your key messages come across clearly.

Keep it simple

When you’re being interviewed, it can be tempting to try to cover as much ground as possible, or to use complex jargon and technical language to impress your audience. However, this can often backfire, leaving your audience feeling confused or overwhelmed.

Instead, aim to keep your message simple and accessible. Use everyday language and avoid jargon where possible. Use stories, analogies and examples to illustrate your points and make them memorable.

For example, if you’re being interviewed about a complex scientific topic, you might use a simple analogy to explain it, such as:

“Think of the body as a car engine. Just like an engine needs oil to run smoothly, our bodies need certain nutrients to function properly.”

By using simple language and relatable examples, you’ll be able to communicate your message clearly and engage your audience.

Practice active listening

Active listening is an essential skill for any media interviewee. Not only does it show that you’re engaged and interested in the conversation, but it also allows you to respond more effectively to the interviewer’s questions.

To practice active listening, focus on what the interviewer is saying and respond thoughtfully. Avoid interrupting or talking over the interviewer, and take the time to pause and consider your response before answering.

For example, if you’re being asked a difficult question, you might say:

“That’s a great question. Let me think about that for a moment.”

By taking the time to listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions, you’ll be able to provide more thoughtful and insightful responses.

Stay on message

During a media interview, it’s easy to get sidetracked or to be led off-topic by the interviewer’s questions. However, it’s important to stay focused on your key messages and to steer the conversation back to them if necessary.

For example, if you’re being asked a question that’s not directly related to your key messages, you might say:

“That’s an interesting point, but I’d like to return to our earlier discussion about the importance of sustainable fashion.”

By keeping your responses focused on your key messages, you’ll be able to ensure that your interview is consistent and coherent.

Be yourself

Finally, it’s important to be yourself during a media interview. While it can be tempting to try to adopt a persona or to present a certain image to the audience, this can often come across as inauthentic or insincere.

Instead, be true to yourself and let your personality shine

To give a stand-out media interview, it’s essential to prepare thoroughly and be confident in your messaging. However, it’s also crucial to be able to adapt and think on your feet to any unexpected questions or situations that may arise.

One way to prepare for an interview is to research the interviewer and the publication or media outlet they represent. This will help you understand the type of content they produce and the audience they cater to. You can then tailor your messaging and language to suit their style and interests, making it more likely that they will find your interview engaging and relevant.

It’s also important to know your key messages inside and out. Consider what the most important points are that you want to communicate, and then find ways to weave them naturally into your conversation. Think about what makes your message unique and compelling, and find ways to communicate this in an engaging way.

To give a truly standout interview, you need to be able to connect with your audience. This means being authentic and personable in your communication. One effective technique is to use anecdotes or real-life examples to illustrate your points. This makes your messaging more relatable and memorable, and helps to establish a connection with your audience.

Practise the Challenging Questions

Another essential element of a successful interview is the ability to handle challenging questions. It’s crucial to prepare for potential difficult questions in advance and have a plan in place for how to respond. When answering tricky questions, stay calm and composed, and avoid getting defensive or confrontational. Instead, try to redirect the conversation back to your key messages and use the opportunity to reinforce your core messaging.

A great way to improve your interview skills is to practice with a media training expert. A good media trainer can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and give you practical tips and feedback to help you improve your performance. They can also simulate real-life interview scenarios, giving you valuable practice and experience in a safe and controlled environment.

Improve Your Media Interview Skills Today

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.

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 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 louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

Improve Your Media Interview Skills Today

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

Let's talk about your presentation training needs

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

+44 20 7018 0922

Our Bespoke Presentation Coaching Services

Executive Presentation Coaching

Executive Media Training

New Business Pitch Coaching