When delivering a speech, presentation or media interview, speaking from the heart is important, but your message must also make sense logically. There are times when a very passionate speaker can draw people in by affecting the audience emotionally, but if upon further reflection the argument or position presented by the speaker doesn’t hold up intellectually, the message loses its potency and the credibility of the speaker is called into question.
The best messages resonate with the heart and the head.
Preparing yourself or your team for media interviews includes understanding how to create and maintain good relationships with members of the media. Over the years, I’ve interviewed members of the media from outlets that include The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Clear Channel Radio and many others. Here are some tips based on what they shared.
Let relationships develop over time.
Like friendships, some of your media relationships will be closer than others, and they develop over time. In their excitement over getting a live editor or producer on the phone or meeting one in person, some people will overestimate the relationship and assume that now they’re friends, buddies…amigos. If this sound like you, take a step back. Think of one of your close friends. When you met this person, did you glom onto him or her the first time you spoke or did you chat for a bit, establish common ground and let the relationship grow from there? Allow members of the media to get accustomed to you and to want to hear from you.
If you will be making important investor presentations, sales presentations and/or public speeches, and you want to come across powerfully, effectively and naturally, you must know how to prepare for presentations.
Here are a few of my presentation tips:
Giving back to the community in various ways has always been important to me, especially when it comes to education. Last Thursday I visited Ánimo Leadership Charter High School, where I made a presentation about my work and career path to become a media trainer and presentation trainer. This was all done through Youth Business Alliance, an organization that connects people in the business world with local schools to expose students to a variety of careers and advice they might not have access to otherwise.
I was impressed with the depth of the students’ questions and their willingness to participate in the practice college interviews I conducted to give them a feel for the work I do as a trainer. Of the two students who volunteered for the practice interviews, one wants to study aeronautical engineering and the other wants to pursue criminal justice because she’s passionate about protecting individuals’ rights when dealing with the judicial system. Encouraging and guiding students like this was a true pleasure.
If you’re interested in speaking or getting involved with Youth Business Alliance in other ways, visit https://www.youthbizalliance.com/speakers
Several months ago, I was hired to provide media training for the family of the Bella Twins, stars of the E! Entertainment TV show, “Total Divas”. While the twins, Brie and Nikki, are accustomed to being in the spotlight, their mother Kathy and brother JJ were less so. As I prepared them for their inaugural trip down a red carpet, which was to be at the ESPY Awards, I made sure to ask them the many prying questions that members of the media might ask about the Brie and Nikki, among other things.
Part of our training session was included in last night’s episode of Total Divas. As with most TV interviews, you have no control over what finally airs. The link below is to a very small portion of the training session. As you can see, JJ’s responses to my questions were entertaining, but if he used them in an actual media interview, he could have led the conversation down an unintended path. Fortunately, he listened and made adjustments, as the best clients do.
I am honored that my blog has been named one of the top 50 public speaking blogs by Feedspot. Of the thousands of public speaking blogs, Feedspot ranked ours as number 30. I am grateful to be in good company among my respected peers.
“These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
1. Know what drives your audience at any given time; pain avoidance or aspiration.
Some people are more motivated to avoid pain, thus the “speak to their pain points” advice that has proliferated on the Internet for the past decade. Others are more motivated by their aspirations or ideals. Most people’s motivations can vacillate between pain avoidance and aspiration, depending on the matter at hand.
Verbatim memorization of a speech or responses to interview questions can detach you from your content and from the very people you’re trying to reach; the audience, the interviewer, investors.
Memorization places your focus on remembering exact words and phrases, instead of where it should be, which is on communicating your ideas or information with emotion and effectiveness.
There are many old adages about the topics to avoid in polite company – politics, religion and race being among them. These rules of etiquette have slipped away in most of society and they don’t necessarily apply to media interviews, especially when it comes to public figures.
Once people achieve celebrity status, it is not unusual for members of the media to ask them questions about their opinions on a wide variety of topics that extend far beyond their art or craft. For example, actors who star in TV shows or movies that center around politics or social issues are especially apt to find themselves facing questions pertaining to the topics addressed by their work. Members of the media may ask actors, music artists and others in the entertainment industry questions about the status of gender issues, race relations, or the state of the entertainment industry. Some artists feel comfortable answering such questions, either because they have gained the knowledge to feel prepared to do so or because they simply want to share their opinions. Others prefer to keep their opinions on such topics to themselves.