This week I was thrilled to be working with my former colleague the lovely media trainer Hilary Jeffs from Jawsmith.
Hilary ran an excellent media training session for one of my clients which reminded me that there really is an art to good interviews.
Here are some of the main tips that I wanted to share.
1. Maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. In any situation when we meet people it is important to look at them directly and maintain good eye contact throughout the conversation – it is essential for building rapport. This is particularly important in media interviews that are being filmed. A common pitfall for clients is to look at the camera rather than the interviewer!
2. Be prepared – find out as much as you can before you speak to a journalist about their readership and the angle they want to take.
3. What do you want to see as the headline? Have this in mind when you prepare your key messages it will help you focus and structure what you want to say.
4. Less is more – have no more than three messages. Journalists won’t remember any more and if you have too many messages you risk them being confused or muddled up. Stick to the rule of three and remember that less is more!
5. Add colour – journalists need interesting facts, figures and anecdotes to liven up their copy and engage their readers.
Think about what statistics you might be able to reference and clients stories you can tell and remember to have varied intonation in your voice. You need to be able to grab their attention and you won’t have long to do so!
Lastly, remember to smile – a big smile can go a long way!