Five Tips to Make the Most of Media Interviews, Presentations and Panels

Five Tips to Make the Most of Media Interviews, Presentations and Panels

 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.

When preparing for media interviews, presentations and panel discussions, consider which form of motivation is strongest for your audience in relation to the topic you are discussing and shape your messages accordingly.

2. Pay attention to the fringes.

Many people focus only on their primary target market and they often ignore or overlook smaller market segments and key influencers. (Key influencers are the people who influence your target audience’s decision-making process and can include business advisors in other fields, managers, agents, assistants and spouses, among others.) Maintain visibility, or relationships, with ALL of your publics; your target market as well as opinion leaders, key influencers and secondary and tertiary markets. Tides change in the world and in business, and there may be a time when your secondary and tertiary markets become important to your bottom line or your position in your industry.

As you prepare for media interviews, presentations and panels, identify logical places where it makes sense to address the needs of your secondary and tertiary markets and key influencers.

3. Draw out silent members of your audience.

There will be times when a segment of your target audience or certain stakeholders do not speak out. Instead of assuming they will not do so at some point or that the silent members of your group or audience support you, take steps to find out what they truly believe and want.

During media interviews and presentations, make reference to the ways people can provide feedback and make their voices heard, such as a text line/hotline, online form or other forum you have created to gather feedback and ideas.

4. Nurture relationships.

Just because someone has been supportive of you in the past, doesn’t mean the relationship will be fine in set-it-and-forget-it mode. It’s easier to maintain a relationship than to rebuild it.

Take advantage of opportunities during media interviews, presentations and panel discussions to acknowledge the people or organizations that have been your long-time supporters. If you can address how you serve their needs, your moments in the public eye can help to maintain your relationships.

5. Identify and fill the gaps of dissatisfaction.

Consider how you can discover and address unmet needs and dissatisfied people. Most successful companies and products were inspired by one individual’s desire for, or identification of, something that was lacking in the marketplace.

When preparing for media interviews, presentations and panel discussions, create messaging regarding what you and/or your organization have done to discover and fill the unmet needs of your supporters and those who are dissatisfied with the status quo. Show them how you provide the solutions they are seeking.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Commit to Your Word and Yourself – Advice from a Media Trainer and Communication Expert

Committing to Your Word and Yourself - blog post by Media Trainer and Communication Expert Lisa Elia

Much is said about committing to your word in business. It’s always been important and has become increasingly so in today’s transparent world.

While most of want to keep our word every day, we sometimes set ourselves up for failure by promising too much, too soon. When working with the media or clients, your word is everything!

Committing to your word:

If a new project or opportunity comes along, think about whether or not you really want to do it. If you don’t, you’ll have trouble sticking with it and honoring your commitments. If you don’t light up at the thought of taking on a project, let it go and leave room and time for the things that will. My experience in my PR firm has been that when we pass on what’s not right for us and refer those people to other PR firms, great new clients appear.

Once you’ve taken on a project, commit to it 100%. (Obvious, yes, but does it always happen?)

Anticipate that there may be some unforeseen delays when estimating delivery times on your projects so you can provide a realistic timeframe to your clients. This is especially true when you’re relying on others to deliver video footage, photos and other elements you might need when promoting yourself.

Things happen–natural disasters, power outages, flight delays. If you can’t keep your word to someone, explain why you can’t do so, preferably before they expect you to deliver on your promise. People are usually more understanding when they’re told what’s going on.

If you’re thinking that you just don’t feel like doing something you’ve committed to, consider this:

Would the other party be happy to change the commitment? Sometimes that person you’re supposed to meet for dinner is just as tired as you and is hoping you’ll cancel. Call and discuss it.

Why don’t you want to keep your commitment? Have you changed your goals? Are there other changes in your life that make it impossible to do so? Or, are you just taking the easy way out?

What happens if you don’t keep your commitment? Will you disappoint someone? Will you disappoint yourself?

How will you feel if you commit to something and really go for it full on? What if you do whatever it takes to meet your commitments to others and yourself? How powerful and confident would you feel then?

When you think about the commitments you make, and whether or not you keep them and how you honor them, remember that your word is really all you have. When people trust you because you’ve demonstrated that you keep your word, they will be more likely to give you money, business, referrals, friendship and love.

Your word is like spiritual currency. Spend it wisely.

Here are a few other useful links:

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You

Media Training Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

Learn about my recorded communication program at

Present yourself as vital and ever evolving.

LE-quote-Present-yourself-as-vital“Present yourself as vital and ever evolving, and people will be magnetized to you.”

When I wrote these words, I was in deep thought about the qualities and actions that attract people, in preparation for the free teleseminar that I held last year.

When people show that they are continuously evolving, they capture the attention of others. Businesses are the same because, after all, businesses are the creations of people.

Vital. Here’s why you want to be vital. These definitions came from

  1. “of or pertaining to life.
  2. having remarkable energy, liveliness, or force of personality.
  3. being the seat or source of life.
  4. necessary to life.
  5. necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something; indispensable; essential.”

Who wouldn’t want even one of these descriptions to suit them?

Here’s some quick “thinkwork” you can do.

Think of at least one way that you — or your business, or your music or art or books — can be seen as “vital” to your customers, clients or fans.

Consider how you can continue to evolve and to let others know about it. People want to see what’s coming next. Entice them, lead them, excite them.


Free Teleseminar: From Mission to Magnetizing

Free Teleseminar: From Mission to Magnetizing

From Mission to Magnetizing: Free Teleseminar

At one point or another, most people who strive to achieve great success in business, the entertainment industry, philanthropy, or almost any field, want to the point where they magnetize all that they want to attract.


In my work with heads of major companies and very wealthy entrepreneurs, and when studying people and companies that have thrived, I found that there are specific actions and philosophies that they have in common, and they build their fortunes on a strong foundation, but there are 3 very important steps that they take once they have the mission is set.


I created From Mission to Magnetizing: the 5 M’s of Business Success, a model that reveals the 3 crucial steps that you must take after clarifying and focusing on your MISSION, so you can MAGNETIZE everything that you want (clients, publicity, opportunities to speak on ses, book deal offers and more).


From Mission to Magnetizing: the 5 M’s of Business Success is partly inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — (remember that from psychology class?) — but I translated each level to business. For example, the first and foundational level is Mission and Money. Staying tied to your mission while you keep money coming in is the key, and often the challenge, to getting to the next level in business. The day-to-day work that keeps the bills paid and lights on isn’t always as fun and appealing as the lofty mission you want to think about and talk about, but having the bills paid will keep you sane and clearheaded so you can work toward that mission.

This teleseminar is no longer available. For more tips, visit our blog.


Should You Write a Letter to the Editor? Advice from a PR Expert and Media Trainer

Letters to the editor: should you or shouldn't you? From PR Expert and Media Trainer Lisa Elia

Are you asking yourself, “should I write a letter to the editor?”

If you want to be seen as a thought leader, one good way to gain visibility is to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or other print media outlets, in the hopes of it being published, of course.

Letters to the editor are generally meant to be in response to something that a media outlet has published.

People write letters to the editor in order to express opinions in support of, or in opposition to, an article that was published in the editor’s media outlet. Some people write letters to the editor to expand upon information that was shared within an article that the outlet published.

Here are some considerations to help you determine whether or not writing a letter to the editor is a good strategy for you:

Who are the readers of the publication? Are they members of your target audience?

Is the publication prestigious? If so, even if the readers are not in your target audience, a published letter to the editor could be something impressive to add to your press kit and website.

Do you feel strongly about something that was published in the media outlet? If you have a strong opinion, writing about it will be much easier than if you’re solely out to get published.

Do you have expertise or experience that relates to the topic in the article about which you plan to write the letter? If so, establish your credibility by sharing a concise summary of your background. If you hold degrees or certifications or if you have a significant amount of experience in a field that relates to the topic, be sure to emphasize this. This can greatly increase your chances of having your letter published.

Would you be able to handle negative comments or criticism in response to your letter, if it is published? Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. If you want to share yours, know that others may disagree, and they may not always be polite about it.

As with any strategy, consider your resources of time and energy and the potential return on investment of your time and energy.

If you enjoyed this post on writing a letter to the editor, you may also enjoy these blog posts:

How to Communicate with Maturity, Tips from a Media Trainer and Communication Expert

How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

I’m Just a… And Other Undermining Statements to Avoid – Communication Tips from a Media Trainer

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer


Humor, Hubris and Hiccups, a Los Angeles Media Trainer’s Thoughts on Wording

Humor, Hubris and Hiccups - blog post on wording by Media Trainer Lisa Elia

In an age where photos and graphics are used to tell stories, it’s interesting how words, and wording, are no less important than they were in the past.

Consider how a quote can make its way around the Internet, crossing time zones and continents.

Make it funny and people can’t wait to share it.

Your voice as a writer and speaker emerges and continues to develop over time.

What you choose NOT to say is just as informative of your brand as what you do say.

Is complaining part of your brand?

Is talking about how tired you are part of your brand?

Probably not.

The way you present yourself to others and the way you treat others, with your pen and your presence, shapes your brand.

Do you think people seem smarter when they’re putting down others?

Do you love it when you read something that shows someone has passed from confidence to arrogance?

Probably not.

If your words are not perfectly composed, do you want people to pin you to a wall for it?

When you’re speaking in public, do you want people to laugh if you stumble?

Probably not.

It makes it easy to know what others want when you look at things this way.

This is what it comes down to:

Humor is welcomed by most, understood by some, and disdained by few.

Hubris is disdained by most, understood by all, and welcomed by few.

Hiccups happen–figuratively in our writing, or literally, when we’re speaking. We’re not always going to be perfect. How you handle hiccups is what matters.

Go back to the humor, perhaps.

As you become more publicly known, you can still be yourself, but show the world the best version of yourself.

Want additional tips, thoughts and advice on wording? Check out these blog posts:

I’m Just a… And Other Undermining Statements to Avoid – Communication Tips from a Media Trainer

How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

Glossary of Media Interview Terms – from Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia


What is Influence and How Do You Increase It? Tips from a Media Trainer

What does it mean to have influence?

What is Influence? blog post from Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia

Influence is not controlling, nor is it pushy.

To have influence with others, you have usually earned it through your experience, integrity, knowledge and willingness to share your wisdom.

When you are influential, you communicate in a way that makes people want to listen to you. This comes through in your body language, your written communication and your speech.

You have influence because you have a sense of maturity about you, and this doesn’t mean you’re any certain age. You could be 20 and still have the maturity to lead others.

To influence others, you show others that you’re enjoying your life. People want what you’re having.

You have the ability to get things done, and this is why people listen to you.

You are focused and on a mission to create the life you want and to help others create the lives they want.

You know that to make great changes, you want to reach more people with your message and your creations.

My challenge to you is this: list 3 things you can do over the next 3 days to increase your influence.

Here are some ideas:

1. Share more tips and/or inspirational thoughts on social media.

2. Look for new groups to join on social media and join the conversation.

3. Think of 5 new important messages you want to share.

4. Add a press room and/or speaking room to your website.

5. Offer to speak at a gathering where people need your information or would want to learn about your product.

6. Look at HARO leads and submit yourself to be considered for media interviews with some of the journalists and TV and radio producers who have posted queries.

7. Create some videos in which you share tips or product information and post them on several video distribution sites, your social media networks and your website.

Please feel free to share what you intend to do, or come back in a few days and share what you’ve done, to have greater influence.

For more tips on how to increase influence by sharing your message, creating an online press room and more, read these blog posts:

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

Media Training Tips on The Language of Your Brand in Media Interviews

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love, from a Los Angeles Media Trainer

Social Media Tips to Create Relationships with the Press

If you know that it’s time to grow your influence in the world, and you want to learn about our services, visit


Media Trainer Shares Message Delivery Lessons Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tips on How to Deliver a Powerful Message from a Media Trainer

Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the course of history, not only in the U.S., but around the world. His words of inspiration and powerful speeches are still shared on a daily basis, quite often by people who were not even around when he was alive, because he knew how to deliver a powerful message.

What makes Martin Luther King, Jr. so quotable and memorable is a combination of the content of his speeches, his vocal style and his body language.

Anyone who is trying to create an impact in the world can learn from this man, but you must do it in your own way. While many might argue that the world needs more people just like Martin Luther King, Jr., the world also needs people just like you.

Some things to emulate from the good Dr. King:

Message delivery tip #1: Speak your truth.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Message delivery tip #2: Choose your words carefully and craft your message thoughtfully.

Dr. King’s words were like poetry, which is one of the reasons he is so quotable.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

See what I mean? Poetry.

Message delivery tip #3: Inspire people with your message delivery.

Few speeches are as inspiring as the “I Have a Dream” speech. If you’ve never heard it, watch in on YouTube.

Did you notice how Dr. King paused and varied his vocal tone throughout his speech?

Technical elements to emulate in your message delivery:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use pauses to make points.
  2. Vary the inflection and even the volume of your voice to keep people engaged and to move the audience.
  3. Keep your posture strong, but not stiff and use eye contact to connect with your audience.

Of course, there’s much more to message delivery, but this will help you gain awareness of what you may want to work on and what already do beautifully.

Now that you’ve learned a few tips on how to deliver a powerful message, would you like some additional media training resources and tips?

If so, visit these links on our site:

What is Influence and How Do You Increase It? Tips from a Media Trainer

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

#0F0D6E;”>This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has trained clients for interviews with The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has been interviewed and shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertainment and many others.

To receive articles like this directly in your inbox, click here. To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training™ office at 310-479-0217.

Media Interview Video Tips

Media interview video tips post by Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia, of Expert Media Training™, serving Los Angeles and clients worldwideWith the increase in opportunities for people to be interviewed by a variety of outlets, more people are becoming aware of the need for media training. As more people begin to make their own videos they may also see that it’s not always as easy as it looks to deliver content in a smooth, engaging way. Add to this the pressure of being asked questions by an inquisitive reporter and you could have a nerve-racking situation. BUT, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Like anything else you want to master, learning to handle interviews well just takes practice and guidance. Being a great speaker from the stage or being comfortable making your own promotional videos is not the same as being ready for a media interview.

Here’s my analogy. Rocking out on the dance floor is to the dancing the tango beautifully, what creating your own videos well is to being great in a media interview. To explain: you may be someone who’s comfortable and even looks good freestyling on the dance floor (like creating your own videos). But, would you be able to do the tango without lessons and practice? The tango is precise and intricate and it takes practice to make it smooth and crisp (like being able to answer questions concisely, without hesitancy and with great energy).

Just as you would get training if you wanted to do the tango well, you should get media training if you want to interview well.

You may have seen my other media interview video tips, and this one will give you more to think about.

Watch the media interview video below for some quick media training tips.

Here are more resources you can access on our site.

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

Media Interview Checklist from a Los Angeles Media Trainer

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love

Prepare for TV Interviews BEFORE You Book One – Tips from an LA Media Trainer and Spokesperson


Pin It on Pinterest