Whether you find yourself in front of a news camera, presenting at Senate Estimates or delivering a webinar – you are a storyteller.
Communicators train, present and learn from their experience to become expert storytellers. This is evident and significant in media interviews and public speeches. However, even the best of communicators sometimes may have limited experience in certain interview settings and will still get nervous when asked a ‘tricky’ question.
Even if you are delivering your 100th media interview or giving it for the first time, here are 5 tips to land your message in the next media interview.
- Do your research
Over the past year or two, we have seen how important it is for public servants to influence citizens through their statements. You need to provide evidence and this is a critical part of preparing for media interviews or writing a speech.
A good example of this is seen in the past year’s speeches of Treasury secretary, Steven Kennedy. His statements, since the beginning of COVID-19, include context and evidence for government decisions and the impact on citizens (or target audience).
- Tailor the message to your target audience
Research and note your potential target audience and focus on tailoring your message(s) to them. For public servants, there may be multiple target audiences. So, take time to know what your audience cares about and map your main points against those concerns.
- Practice mock interviews
A practice session before a media interview or a public speech can be useful to refine skills, especially for beginners. If you do not want to do it with someone else, simply record and watch yourself to improve on any shortcomings. In your recordings, notice your hand gestures, posture, pauses, eye contact, and smile.
- Preparing responses beforehand
At times, journalists put across tricky questions during a public interview. Preparing responses to any such possible questions can control the message you are trying to share. This is known as ‘controlled communication’. This comes with practice and research, so re-emphasizing tips 1 and 3.
- Do a final review
Things change and are updated constantly, so make sure to review your content, especially statistics, before you go ‘live’ to make sure they are still relevant enough. Creating a checklist for a final review can be very helpful. Things such as – Is the key message still relevant? Is the content focusing on positives? Is the key message consistent throughout the speech?
These are 5 of many tips to successfully land your message in the next media interview.
Are you preparing for a media interview? Or looking to learn storytelling skills? Or simply want to understand the media landscape? Join our media training master class. Delivered by David Pembroke, CEO of contentgroup, our full-day media training will prepare you for different media interview settings and to tailor your message to the media and weave it into a narrative.