Speaking of Speaking – Tips on Managing Media Interviews

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Radio interview

I just took part in a #speakchat on Twitter. Tonight’s chat was hosted by @prosperitygal aka Michele Price and focused on the dreaded interview. Ok, for some folks it may not be “dreaded” although if the chatters tonight are an indication, it is at least, a stressor for many.

For me it is “dreaded” and that’s a problem because I do the occasional radio interview. Needless to say I was pretty stoked to take part and was rewarded with some great tips courtesy of Michele and of course the other participants. Here’s the background provided for the chat and below, some of the takeaways.

The chat was moderated by Alan Berkson aka @berkson0  who started us off by announcing the topic Media Interviews – Are they as powerful as the rest of your communications?

Q1: So right off: If you are a good speaker, can’t you give a good interview?

A1: You would think. Not always the case though. When you’re presenting you are in control of the flow, for the most part.

Q2: Are there skills used in media interview that are different than when we present in front of an audience?

A2: There are some that are transferable, like listening skills but the ability to “read” and get energy from a group of participants or an audience isn’t there. The interviewer may not give you the feedback you’re used to getting from audience. I find this especially true in radio interviews. You still need to establish trust and rapport while providing at least a few usable sound bytes. Best quote on this via @prosperitygal

being able to pace your message and dance well with interviewer are all very different skills than presenting

Q3: What are some common mistakes made during interviews?

A3: Stepping on the interviewers toes! Thinking you can just wing it because you know your topic. Not having a strategy and using fillers.

Q4: While asking questions seems easy, I have noticed a difference in your interviews vs other radio hosts. Why is that?

A4: Know who you are interviewing and know your audience.

Q5 Are we needing to look at different behaviors in interviews like we have different behaviors from one social platform to another?

A5: Absolutely! Each media is going to require different set of behaviours that work. Being authentic is one that crosses over though.

Q6: We think we have complimentary qualities that translate from speaking to interviews – why are they different?

A6: Back to dancing, letting interviewer lead and stay on topic is challenging to some.

Q7: Where in the timeline of our speaking business do we want to think about what is our interview strategy? (Note #speakchat tends to draw participants that make a living as speakers)

A7: Not sure what the take away was here but I would think that you should try to pick it up, learn it, practice it early on.

Q8:  What are you some of the things that can hurt your credibility when interviewing that most people do not think of?

A8: Lack of congruence,  not answering interviewer’s question and stepping on interviewer’s toes. Doing things that interrupt audience attention or focus (uhm’s can do that)

Q9: Does the audience hear things differently when listening to a radio interview vs. TV interviews?

A9: Definitely so be aware of and plan for that. TV for most part allows for at least some use of body language including facial expression (double edge sword there). With radio the voice tone, cadence, pattern can make or break an interview.

Q10: What have your clients learned out of working with you that they didn’t expect?

A10: Lots 🙂 Strategy, strategy, strategy!

#Speakchat is a moderated chat that follows an interview format for the first 45 minutes, then followup with Q&A for that remaining time. The chat takes place Mondays at 6pm pacific time. If you have been reluctant to take part in a Twitter chat maybe this will take the edge off for you 🙂

So that’s the gist. Now my question is, what tips can you give to people who are asked to be interviewed on TV, radio or even in print.

I’m sending this out to media folks specifically (you know I mean you  Don Lehn) and as always welcome feedback from anyone who can help me and others with this topic.

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3 thoughts on “Speaking of Speaking – Tips on Managing Media Interviews”

  1. With media interviews the key is in the preparation – you have to be prepared with your key points all ready, and be prepared to ‘bridge’ to them during the interview if necessary. If you are just ‘thinking aloud’ during the interview you will appear hesitant, and will be lucky to get across the points you want to get make.

  2. Jaime, glad you enjoyed #Speakchat. Tonight’s topic helps business owners as well as speakers. Glad you learned something. Looking forward to hearing how you will apply it.

    Thanks to Lois Creamer pushing, I sit in the hotseat once in a while and am on the receiving end of being interviewed.

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