Posts Tagged ‘Media Training’

Media Training Tips

July 28, 2019

So you’ve been asked to take part in a press interview…

Interviews, be it on radio, TV or with a journalist face to face for a print article, can be very daunting.

Even for those who are very experienced, nerves are normal – you are human after all!! Often it can feel like you have no control and could be entering the lion’s den but with some simple techniques, you can master any interview and even better come across believable and communicate your key messages.

Here are five simple media training techniques that I use to prepare and calm clients for an interview:

 

1.Remember; You are “the” expert

Media training Tip 1 - Media Training Dublin, Fuzion Communications

Remember you might not know the questions, but you definitely know the answer.

A journalist is interviewing you because you know something they don’t, you are the expert so remind yourself of this before any interview.

 

2.Never say no comment!

Media Training Tips - Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

No comment is like a red flag to a journalist.

It makes them think you are hiding something if you don’t have anything to say. More importantly it makes your audience think you are hiding something if you are quoted saying “no comment”.

 

3.Silence is golden

Media Training Tips - Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

It is best to keep your tone steady and also keep your sentences short.

Don’t feel like you have to fill silence as silence shows confidence and credibility – don’t be afraid to have the confidence to stop talking!

 

4 Watch your body language

Media Training Tips , Fuzion Communications, Dubl;n, Cork

Body language can often show you are nervous.

Everyone has little habits they do subconsciously. This can be a dead giveaway for nerves, so I recommend that you record yourself on camera or get someone else to record you, and try to correct your body language. 

 

5. Breathe!

Media Training Tips, Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

It might sound silly, but remind yourself to take a moment to breathe to calm yourself down!

Training..

If you would like to find out more techniques for controlling and preparing for press interviews, we provide media training services from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

Our training is very practical and we always prepare thoroughly in advance to ensure that the sessions are relevant to you and your sector and that you are given tips to keep you on message and in control of the interview, even when it could be a pressurised situation.

I lead the media training team at Fuzion and my experience as a former journalist will help to carefully support you and your team in those interview situations, allowing you to achieve best results for you and your organisation.

With our help, you will learn how to speak authentically and memorably, making you a more polished spokesperson, business leader or elected official. You will learn how to plan and prepare your media strategy and once “live” we will show you how to stay on message, how to turn a hostile interview into a positive outcome and how to rise above the white noise of everything else.

Whether on-camera or on radio you will become calmer, confident, engaging, personable and most importantly believable.

As part of our training we will digitally record you in front of a live camera for immediate feedback and help you to skill-up faster than you ever thought possible.

Our media training includes;

  • Interview techniques for in-studio, and telephone interviews, familiarisation with the interviewer
  • Interviewing methods to stay ahead of all journalistic approaches
  • Simulated interviews with hard hitting questions and helping to analyse answer direction
  • Introducing an opponent for interview and hone your combat technique

If you are interested in our Media Training services please contact us and we can create a bespoke training solution for your needs.

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications and she leads the media training team, from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

Is anyone a born natural when it comes to the media?

May 27, 2014

media interviewPeople who contact the Fuzion Media Training team frequently feel  embarrassed at  having to do so and our answer to them is always the same, “why do you think you should automatically know how to do this? It’s a skill just like any other that has to be learned and mastered.

I have seen the most experienced spokespeople and politicians fluff lines, panic under pressure and crumble in the face of harsh interrogation. I’ve seen guests come in to do an interview that could have gone out to one million people – but the piece (and worse the opportunity) was canned because they weren’t prepared.  Fascinated by what just happened, I have also, where possible, asked them what they think just went wrong?

Without exception the answer has always been –”I didn’t think through or practice what I wanted to say before going on!”

There are no naturals in this business; very experienced TV presenters rehearse a script 50 if not a 100 times before mastering it.  Most broadcasters are not better at communicating than the rest of us; they’ve just made a career out of practising their content and by extension perfecting their performance.  They also receive constant and, let’s be honest, not always welcome constructive criticism from their production team.

You can work with a media trainer to adopt a similar approach and you don’t have to be facing an imminent broadcast interview to do it.   Media now means much more than it used to, it’s not just newspapers, TV and radio it’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. You need the same media skills to succeed, no matter what the platform, and it’s our job and privilege to show you how.

Our media training includes:

Realising it’s all part of PR

If you have your own business, if you have something to sell, you need to be someone clients will like, know and trust.  We encourage people to identify who their real clients are and how they can connect with them and knowing your clients means knowing which media to use to connect with them too.

You are your own best PR, and any opportunity to promote yourself will be an opportunity to promote your business.  And if you don’t have any desire to be an entrepreneur, you may wish to highlight an essential cause or create a buzz about a charity project.

Whatever the reason, there are always times in life where you need to make the right impression.  As a result, Fuzion offers media training both in isolation and as part of integrated PR packages.

Being clear on your USP and becoming visible

The very first thing to get people to be really clear on is their USP [unique selling point] and a surprising number of people struggle with this. We help you work out this essential information which we then use to build your core message.

We work with a lot of business professionals and when I ask them about their own qualities, they often say “It’s not about me; it’s the product that’s important.” I ask them to think about why they choose one shop over another and the answer is always they go where the person gives the best service.  Of course personality matters. People do business with people they trust and they do so when they get to know the face behind the brand.

Showing you how not to be defensive

This is the make or break of most media interviews. It’s the journalist’s job to ask the questions you want to be asked but equally the ones you don’t.

99% of these questions are easily predicted but we hide behind the pretence that we didn’t know what we were going to be asked. As part of our service we’ll tell you everything you’re going to be asked and we’ll get you to complete a media grid which includes everything you hope to be asked, what you don’t want to be asked and the stories and examples you will use to back up what you are saying!

We’ll then put you through your paces in an intensive mock interview which leaves no stone unturned and which just like the broadcasters will be analysed in minute but always constructive detail! This coupled with some assertive responses will completely eliminate the temptation to get defensive.

Above all else media training will make sure you’re relaxed, memorable and quotable. It’s an investment in both your brand and yourself that will completely transform those opportunities when they come along. 

Amanda Dunleavy, Media Training Dublin, Fuzion Amanda Dunleavy

Amanda Dunleavy is part of the Fuzion Media Training team operating from our offices in both Cork and Dublin.

 

Turning Dreaded Interviews into Media Opportunities

April 22, 2014

Gina London, Media Training, Fuzion Communications, Ireland, Cork, Dublin

Working as part of the Fuzion Media Training team is one of the most rewarding, diverse and challenging parts of the job.

It’s even more interesting from the perspective of being a former journalist as I hadn’t much considered just how difficult and nerve wrecking it is to deal with the unpredictability of media from the interviewee’s perspective!

People from all walks of life seek Fuzion’s expertise in this area for many different reasons – be it an upcoming TV appearance on Dragon’s Den, business leaders wanting to work on their elevator pitch for investors, upcoming radio interviews or as part of an organisation’s crisis management strategy.

Regardless of why they require support, one thing is common to all of our Media Training clients, they entrust in us. This is incredibly humbling and comes with a weight of responsibility on our side that we never underestimate.

Our clients lay their cards on the table for us, warts and all, and we’re tasked to honestly analyse and strategically advise on their strengths, weaknesses and the best approach for them to communicate as individuals and/or as an organisation.

Often it’s a tricky position to be in when you have to take the ‘no holds barred’ approach but almost always, the honesty is appreciated by our clients who know that the goal is to lay the groundwork for effective communication.

Demonstrating the unpredictability of a media interview and the importance of staying ‘on message’ is one of the most intense parts of the training.

I temporarily jump back into the role of a journalist to interrogate, nit-pick and manipulate with my own agenda to give the client an idea of worse-case scenario media interviews. This is where the cracks will be apparent in their verbal and visual communication. It’s tough love!

It’s not easy but it’s necessary to sometimes tell clients that they mumble, sound monotone, are too defensive both in their words and their body language, have a nervous tick and/or if the interview had been live, they could have left their organisation open to controversy. appearing in a very poor light or even a possible lawsuit.

No one takes offence, more often, they’re glad of the honesty of how they sound and appear, looking from the outside in.

From there we work with our clients so that they can effectively, calmly and confidently communicate using their core business strategy to set the agenda and achieve clear communication objectives in all media interviews and opportunities. We work with them to establish their core messages to stay on track (e.g. who they are, what they stand for, why people should care or be interested in them, the positive work do they do, how they are pro-actively working to resolve issues etc.)

Once the client establishes these core messages clearly and concisely, they’re on a sound footing. The tables soon turn to when the client is able to set their own agenda and manage the media opportunity to benefit their goals and business.

With some training every media opportunity can be a golden one.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

Aobhinn Twomey is part of the Fuzion Media Training team operating from  our offices in both Cork and Dublin.

 

 

 

 

Lessons we learn from Lance and Oprah

January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong & OprahThe whole world was watching, as Lance Armstrong confessed all on Oprah about his doping allegations, which he stated helped him secure 7 Tour de France wins – he could not have done that otherwise, he answered Oprah.

No matter how you feel about what he did, you couldn’t envy him ahead of that interview – would he continue to deny the allegations, would he come clean? Would she break him? Would he come out with any shred of integrity?

Lance ArmstrongBut he was ready.

Even Oprah said it. He was so prepared, so polished, so sincere, that the world felt a tingle of … pity?

No. Understanding.

After all, you can’t argue with the truth can you?

Lance must’ve been stomach-churningly nervous, and rightly so, but the only card he could play, was to be prepared.

We all dread speaking in public. No one likes getting up in front of their peers/strangers/a camera, to talk about their business. In fact, it makes most people sick with nerves. But in this climate, honing your presentation skills and your media training acumen is important, because if an opportunity to profile your business presents itself, you have to grab it!

The only advantage Lance had over Oprah, was that he knew more than she did about the whole thing – and she didn’t know what to expect. Lance did.

You know your business, your job, your area of expertise, better than anyone else. So next time you’re preparing for, (and dreading!) your next presentation, or television interview, remember this- you’re the expert on what you’re going to say – so be prepared!

A great trick I recommend to people is to practice your presentation (your pitch or your key messages for interview) standing in front of a camera or iPhone and watch it back.

Is it terrible? Do it again. And again, and again, until it’s good. Keep repeating until you sound convincing, until you are delivering the exact message you want to communicate!

Ask yourself this question before you start – what do I want to get out of this interview/presentation?

Boost the profile of the company? Tell people what you do and what makes you special? Make sure people know we don’t just service Dublin clients?

Whatever it is, make sure you don’t leave that interview/presentation stage, without telling people what you came to say.

Then decide on two or three key messages, and try to communicate those effectively.

Keep practicing those messages, along with a brief introductory sentence about your business (say it even if the interviewer doesn’t ask), and then sum up at the end by reinforcing your bottom line, your key message. Don’t aim to tell the interviewer/audience every facet of your business – they will switch off!

Lance Armstrong

Ready?

Remember, you’re not trying to win an Oscar.. you just need to be best version of yourself!

You probably hate what Lance Armstrong is all about but he did do a good job on Oprah ..

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

Jill Collins conducts presentation skills training and media training in both Cork and Dublin.

First impressions count…

August 8, 2012
Kennedy Nixon televised debate 1960

First impressions count

In 1960, the relatively unknown Senator John F Kennedy debated against Vice President Nixon in a US first television live debate in a presidential election campaign.

It’s widely acknowledged that without that debate, Kennedy would never have been president. Nixon, pale and underweight from a recent hospitalisation, appeared sickly and under pressure, also famously refusing makeup, while Kennedy appeared calm and confident, tanned, robust and healthy, wearing full make up.

Those who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon had won. Those who watched it on television, thought Kennedy had been victorious. While Nixon went on to perform much better in subsequent debates (and to look better, due to weight gain), 20 million people watched that first one, and the damage had been done.

For the first time ever in the US, viewers judged presidential candidates on not just content, but style, stage presence, appearance. For the first time, it demonstrated that how you present yourself, counts.

In our working lives we make presentations, give interviews and conduct meetings, leaving first impressions every day. We don’t want to be all style and no substance, but how you present yourself, matters. How you dress, how you shake hands, how you speak at that first meeting, may be the only shot you have, so you have to make it count.

Sometimes we are casual in our approach with business associates, with prospective clients, with colleagues, and we conspiratorially confess that business hasn’t been great, that we couldn’t wait to leave the office to go home and watch the Olympics, assuming we are making friends, but this is not the climate for over sharing- this economic climate requires your game face!

People like to think they’re doing business with a focused, capable, confident person, and that first impression will do at least half the convincing, that you’re the right person for the job.

Nixon himself insisted on campaigning right up to an hour before that famous debate, not having fully recovered from a hospital visit either,  but he never got a chance to explain that in the live debate- the public presumed him exhausted, weaker than his opponent. Not fair, not true, but the rest is history.

Of course we all do our best to look smart going to work, and make a greater effort for important meetings, but we should probably assume that how we present ourselves says more about us than we realise. Bear it mind as you’re getting dressed tomorrow morning- time to get your game face on!

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

Jill Collins conducts presentation skills training and media training in both Cork and Dublin.


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