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Posted on 10.13.2014
Preparing for a Media Interview? Practice, Practice, Practice!
Talking with reporters can be stressful. Even when you’ve got a good command of the interview subject matter, the in-the-moment pressure of knowing your every word is being filmed, recorded or written down can leave you tongue-tied.
To avoid any interview missteps, the best thing you can do is practice before the interview.Practicing helps you get comfortable with what you want to say, and how you want to say it, before you’re face-to-face with a journalist. It should remove some pressure, boost your confidence, and help ensure the interview goes well.
What do I mean by practice? Here are three important tips we often discuss with clients when providing media training for interviews:
- Write down the messages you want to convey. What are the main points you want to make sure the reporter includes in his or her story? Write them down. You’ll want to return to these messages throughout the interview to reinforce their importance.
- Anticipate questions and craft your answers. Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes and come up with a few questions the reporter might ask you. What do you think he or she will want to know? Write down the questions, and then write down how you would answer them. Make sure to circle back to your main messages to help ensure those points are part of the final story.
- Practice delivering your answers and messages. Now that you’ve got your main messages and some likely answers, it’s time to say them out loud. Practice in front of a mirror, with a colleague or friend, or even in front of a camera. Not only will this kind of practice help you commit your messages to memory, it will help you determine the best way to deliver those points—which often is not identical to what you’ve written. Practicing in front of a mirror, camera or with a friend will also help you pinpoint any physical adjustments you might need to make before the interview, such as awkward body language or forgetting to smile.
Remember, practicing will help you go into the interview feeling more confident and relaxed because you’ll know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Time to get practicing!
Erin George is a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Erin’s blogs here. Connect with Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ErinLawley.