Over the years working with authors and business owners, I have created a long list of interview tips, including dos and don’ts when talking with the media. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve no doubt read some of them.
Today I am sharing tips from my Media Darling Masterclass that I haven’t shared here. This is not an exhaustive list, but they are important tips to keep in mind as you prepare to do any kind of media interview.
Master the following tips
Tell your story quickly and easily while painting a great picture. At the same time do NOT drone on and on. You must capture the interviewer’s imagination and attention in the least amount of time. Sounds easy. It’s not. You can watch people fail at this every day, but you don’t have to once you master this skill.
Listen to the question you’re being asked, and then answer that question. If it doesn’t fit the subject of why you’re there, you can bridge it back to one of your key messages, or you can say something like, “This isn’t my area of expertise, but what I can tell you is this…” Then go on to say what it is.
If you don’t understand a question, it is OK to ask that they repeat it or rephrase it in a different way. Don’t blindly try to answer what you THINK they might be asking.
Make a list of different ways to say YES and NO. Saying “yes” and “no” over and over again is boring, and of course, you never want to only give a yes or no answer. Find other ways to convey the same thought: Indeed. Sure. Certainly. Absolutely. Or, Never. Not at all. By no means. Under no circumstances.
Get to the point of your story. This is not the time to be long winded. Practice ahead of time telling your story so that you don’t find yourself going off on some tangent that really isn’t going to help you.
Relax and have fun. You’re supposed to be having a good time while being interviewed, and while the subject may be a serious one, you can still be relaxed and composed and look like you’re connected with the interviewer while you’re conversing.
Have energy and enthusiasm. Being interviewed requires a certain level of performance, so show some energy and enthusiasm. How much depends on the topic, but no one wants to hear someone who seems bored.
An interview isn’t a confession. You don’t need to reveal your deepest darkest secrets to someone else. Same goes on social media. Decide ahead of time how much and what part of your life is public, and what isn’t.
An interview isn’t a conversation, but it should be conversational. It is a give and take; a dance if you will, so be sure you’re being a good partner.
Say the journalist or podcaster’s name now and then. People like to hear their own names. Make sure it flows naturally and don’t overdo it. There’s nothing worse than when someone can tell you’re trying to get on their good side.
Body language matters. Watch what you may be communicating with your non-verbal gestures. To get very clear on what that is, record yourself doing some mock interviews and then carefully review the footage. What is your body language saying?
Don’t be lazy with your language. Whatevs, na-uh, ya know, like, um, and “if that makes any kind of sense,” really should be left behind when getting in front of the media.
There are many ways to sound like and become a Media Darling. Review and accept the above tips and it will help you reach your goals and vision of being a great media guest.
To your success!
P.S. Tell your story. Be succinct. Be enthusiastic. Get to the point. Make it happen.
If you’d like to receive juicy publicity secrets directly on a regular basis, join the Savvy Sunday Community at the bottom of this page.