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How to Improve Your Media Interviews

During a one-year consulting contract, I served as a national media spokesperson for an international corporation. Each week, I did more than a dozen interviews – on camera, via radio, in print. I quickly learned what worked, what didn’t, and why.

I’m now helping several clients improve their media skills. Mostly, they worry about what “might” happen:

  • What if the host has biases about my organization?
  • What if other interviewees make faulty comments about my company?
  • What if there’s not enough time to get my messages across?
  • In my consulting (whether onsite, via the phone, or online), I stress this point: Take control. Prevent problems by taking control.

    You have two fundamental rights: 1) The right to get your message across accurately; 2) The right to remain comfortable.

    No one else can confer these rights. Only you can give yourself the basic rights to succeed in a media interview.

    Attitude is everything.

    Start now. Literally right now! List all the questions you might get.

    In the day and weeks ahead, practice your answers. Keep tightening them. Make each word count.

    Above all, don’t come across as defensive.

    Keep in mind: Interviewers have the right to ask questions. It’s your full responsibility to rise to the occasion with strong answers.