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

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

Our word choices in interviews, speeches, presentations, and even casual conversations, say more about us than most people may realize. Many people undermine themselves without even knowing it.

Have you ever heard the owner of a small business say, “We’re just a small…” or an entrepreneur say, “I’m just a…”? The words “just a” immediately diminish their accomplishments.

I often hear stay-at-home mothers undermine themselves similarly, saying, “I’m just a mom.” This minimizes the importance of what they do. Instead they could say, “I’m a full-time mother,” and leave it at that. Or, they could say, “I’m taking time to focus on my family full-time right now,” which may feel more comfortable for women who plan to return to the workforce.

Other ways that people may undermine themselves is to talk about their perceived limitations as business people. People say things like, “I’m so disorganized,” or “I’m a mess,” or “I’m overwhelmed.” All of these statements make one appear out of control, incompetent and/or not very reliable.

Undermining statements like the ones above are a form of negative self-talk. In addition to diminishing your accomplishments, negative self-talk can take the form of putting yourself down or not accepting compliments.

Remember that everything you say to others, you are reinforcing in your own mind. Your brain cannot help but to hear those self-deprecating words and, more than likely, you will internalize them. Don’t say anything about yourself that you don’t want to be true.

Eliminating negative self-talk is important for anyone. It is not productive, it is disempowering, and it reinforces beliefs you don’t want to hold about yourself.

Get used to confidently stating what you do without diminishing or minimizing yourself or your accomplishments in any way.

If you’d like to become a more powerful communicator and make more conscious word choices, my Confident and Clear Communication program provides lessons in audio recordings you can listen to anywhere, anytime, as well as PDFs you can download or read online.

 

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.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217. Or, you can email us at [email protected]
Know Your Facts to Book More Interviews – Media Training Tips

Know Your Facts to Book More Interviews – Media Training Tips

 

The best media interview guests are those that have deep knowledge of their subject matter and understand how to talk about their topic in the context of current events, in an engaging manner.

This may sound like a tall order, but if you break it down, you can create a system to keep yourself media ready every day. This blog post addresses why you should know your facts if you want to book more interviews.

If you are representing a product or service, know the details of it. You should know exactly how it works, whom it serves, how much it costs, the greatest benefits it delivers, how it compares to similar products and services, and other details.

If you are a subject matter expert, stay aware of academic or institutional studies that relate to topics you discuss. You could be asked questions about them, but you may also find it useful to reference studies to support your responses to questions.

Stay abreast of trends and shifts in your industry. Read the journals or trade publications that pertain to your industry. This may be obvious for people who are positioning themselves as experts. For others, such as athletes who may want to become sportscasters, demonstrating that they have an understanding of the sports industry will position them well. An actor who may want to become a spokesperson for a product line or a cause can position himself or herself for such opportunities by introducing relevant topics in media interviews.

The morning of an interview, scan the news so you will be prepared if an interviewer refers to a major world event. Think about how any of the world events might affect your industry or your projects. A good journalist may ask you how a specific event will affect your customers or fans. If you can add an interesting perspective to current conversations taking place in the world, you are more likely to book more interviews.

Be ready to talk about more than just yourself or your products or services. Even if most of the questions that journalists ask are about you, a media interview provides you with an opportunity to share more of your mind and heart with the world.

If you go into an interview without knowing the facts of your business or projects, you could be caught off-guard and appear to be uninformed or lacking credibility. This could throw the entire interview and damage your reputation. On the other hand, if you prepare well for every interview, you are more likely to be an engaging, confident guest or interviewee with whom the media will enjoy working.

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.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217.

Or, you can email us at [email protected]

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

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

 

Media training is meant to help anyone who is going to be interviewed by the media to feel as prepared as possible.

Understanding the lingo that you may encounter before or during interviews will help you to feel more at ease.

 

This glossary of media interview terms will get you started.

a-roll – This is the footage shot by the primary camera, in shoots with more than one camera.

attribution – Attributing the source of information to its originator. If you provide information or quotes that are not your own, be sure to mention the source. If you do not, you risk being accused of plagiarism, which is illegal and damaging to your reputation.

b-roll – This is background footage that is generally shown to accompany voice-over provided by a news reporter or the audio of an interview. Sometimes TV news crews will shoot b-roll, and sometimes the producer will ask interviewees or their PR representatives to supply b-roll. It is beneficial to have b-roll available if you have something that could add visual interest to a news story, such as footage of your product being manufactured, or a tour of your facility. For people in the entertainment industry, interviewers might expect you to bring clips of films or TV shows that are being promoted: the studios will generally provide these.

boom (microphone) – This is the large microphone that is generally at the end of a boom pole and held near the action, to capture sound.

Chyron (pronounced ˈkīrän) – The graphics or words that appear at the bottom of a TV screen. The Chyron Corporation created the on-air graphics that became popular, and subsequently, the name “Chyron” has become used generically. In some countries, this is referred to as a “name super” or “cap gen” or “CG”.

crawl – This is the text that “crawls” along the bottom of a TV screen during an interview or news segment. Sometimes this text is unrelated to what is on screen.

lapel mic/lavalier mic/personal mic – For many TV interviews, a lapel mic or lavalier mic will be clipped onto your clothing, with the “mic pack” clipped to your clothing, somewhere where it will not be seen, such as the back of your belt, or even inside a dress or shirt. Consider this when choosing your clothing for an interview.

mic pack – This is the electronic pack that transfers the signal from a lapel mic to the camera or soundboard.

off the record –I advise clients not to say anything that you do not want to see in the news. With social media acting as an amplifier of any message, this is a good rule to follow in most areas of your life (except to your very inner circle).

press kit – Those of you who are reading this who work with publicists or an in-house PR team probably already have had a professional press kit developed for you. This phrase is included in this glossary because many people casually interchange “press kit” and “sales kit,” but they are not the same things. When members of the media request your press kit, they do not want your sales materials. They want to see your factual press kit materials. A press kit generally includes the background information that members of the media may need to produce articles or stories on you, including a biography, a company backgrounder, information on your products and services, key press clips, and references to relevant facts and studies.

remote (interview) – A remote interview is when the interviewer is in a different location than the interviewee. Remote interviews can occur via Skype or other videoconferencing software applications and systems, or you may be asked to go to a studio to shoot a remote interview with an interviewer that is located elsewhere. Or, a remote interview may be shot at some other location. This is sometimes called a “live shot”.

still (photograph) – Stills are simply photographs, as in “still images”, as opposed to “moving images”. Print media outlets will often ask for still photographs that can support the story being written, but radio and TV producers might also ask for stills to be used in producing their stories. Radio stations now have active and very visually appealing websites, so good visuals are now necessary to support some radio interviews as well as print and TV interviews.

talking points From the perspective of many members of the media, the talking points that they may ask you or your representatives to send to them are discussion points or topics that you will discuss in a media interview. You might also have a separate list of talking points that are the discussion points you want to incorporate into your answers.

Media training entails much more than understanding media interview terms.

To excel in media interviews, you must be prepared on many levels that go far beyond media interview terms. Good media training should address the strategy behind the interviews, and prepare you physically, mentally and emotionally.

For more media training tips, visit these links on our site:

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training
https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/

Media Training Tips for Actors, Music Artists and Performers
https://expertmediatraining.com/media-training-for-actors-music-artists-and-performers-media-interview-tips/

Media Interview Checklist from a Los Angeles Media Trainer
https://expertmediatraining.com/media-interview-checklist-from-a-media-trainer/

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication
https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love
https://expertmediatraining.com/online-press-room-tips-from-media-trainer/

Prepare for TV Interviews BEFORE You Book One – Tips from an LA Media Trainer and Spokesperson
https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

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.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217. Or, you can email us at [email protected]

Media Interview Tips for Entertainers from a Los Angeles-Based Media Trainer and PR Expert

Media Interview Tips for Entertainers, Actors, Music Artists and Performers - from a Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia, of Expert Media Training™ in Los Angeles and worldwideWhen members of the media book an interview with an entertainer, they expect someone to walk in the door prepared and ready to be entertaining. Many interviewers will assume that all actors and music artists love to be on camera or in the limelight, but what some do not realize is that many performers simply want to do what they love.

Actors, music artists and other entertainers should be prepared for media interviews and public appearances with proper training so they deliver the information that will interest their fans and engage people in their projects, feel confident and exude great energy, while maintaining their boundaries about what they do/don’t wish to share.

If you represent actors, music artists or others in the entertainment industry, having your clients prepared with media training will ensure that they deliver their best in interviews and that you will maintain great relationships with your media contacts.

Media interview tip for entertainers #1:

This is what members of the media expect guests from the entertainment industry to bring to media interviews:

• personality
• to hear about the interviewee’s projects and passions (causes, fashion, family, etc.)
• insider information (what went on at a recent recording session or shoot, the artist’s inspirations)
• entertaining stories and anecdotes
• and, in some cases, to reveal things that no one knows

Media interview tip for entertainers #2:

Members of the media want guests who are:

• interesting
• able to express themselves well
• easy to work with
• able to present themselves and their ideas smoothly
• approachable
• appealing to the audience
• punctual
• respectful
• professional
• and aware of the media outlet’s audience and format

Media interview tip for entertainers #3:

To get the most from the sessions you arrange to provide media training for entertainers or actors, or media training for music artists, be sure to provide the media trainer with the facts surrounding the client’s projects and potentially sensitive issues that might arise.

When providing media training for entertainers, or any other type of client, we begin with a strategy session with the actor or artist and/or with his or her team members. We know how important every interview is, especially now that every word can live on indefinitely through social media.

To arrange training sessions for your clients, yourself or your team, contact us at [email protected].com or 310-479-0217

To learn more about our media training for actors, music artists and performers, visit https://expertmediatraining.com/media-training-for-actors-and-performers/

 

Here are links to a few other articles you might find interesting:

Top Media Training and Communication Tips

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Media Interviews

Top 10 Media Relations Tips – Media Training Tips from a Media Trainer

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

Prepare for TV Interviews BEFORE You Book One

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

Media Interview Checklist from a Los Angeles Media Trainer

When preparing for an interview, make sure you have all the items on your media interview checklist ready to go.

Media interview image on Media Interview Checklist from Expert Media Training™, Los AngelesMany media interviews take place with very little notice. It’s not unusual for a member of the media to request an interview to take place within hours (or minutes).

You want to be prepared so that, even on your busiest days, you’re ready to say “yes” to a last-minute media interview request.

If you don’t one already, here’s a quick list of items to have ready before an interview:

1. your “elevator pitch” or introduction

2. key message points you want to deliver

3. a plan to handle the tough questions as well as the simple ones

4. specific calls to action that you want to incorporate into your responses

5. clothing and shoes ready to go (including jewelry and handbag/tote/briefcase, if any of these items suit you)

6. a plan for hair and make-up (men, you might need to have sheer powder on hand to reduce shine)

These are the items to have ready before an interview, however, it is also important to receive proper media training if you haven’t already done so. If you require media training, you can find more information on our services here: https://expertmediatraining.com/services/.

If you want to share this media interview checklist with your friends, you can do so by using the share buttons below.

If you want additional tips on media training and preparing for an interview, read some of the other blog posts by Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication:

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

Prepare for TV Interviews:

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

At some point, you may find yourself in the position of interviewing people or moderating panels. If you’re not prepared for this, you can feel out of your depths.

Lisa Elia moderating panel at Expressions of Peace Event

Photo courtesy of PeaceNow and John Lystrom.

Recently, when I moderated a panel at “Expressions of Peace,” a wonderful event that our client PeaceNow held, several people asked me how I prepared. Admittedly, I’ve been interviewing people since I was in journalism classes when I was 19 years old, and I have continued to refine my process over the years. Here are some of my favorite tips on how to be a great interviewer or moderator.

How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

1. If you want to learn how to be a great interviewer, watch great interviewers, like Charlie Rose, Oprah Winfrey and Anderson Cooper. Pay attention to their timing and rhythm, and note how much research they have done to prepare prior to an interview.

If you want to learn how to be a great interviewer or moderator, study people who do both well. Charlie Rose fits into this category as well.

2. Do your research. Take the time to research the topics to be discussed and the people you will be interviewing/moderating. Read up on current events so you can tie them into the discussion when appropriate. When you have done your research, you will be better able to quickly formulate questions and to effectively lead the interview or panel discussion.

3. Practice encapsulating others’ rambling speeches. A good interviewer or moderator can sum up what was said on the spot. While some people are naturally more adept at this than others, this skill can be improved with practice.

4. Write out some questions you plan to ask during the interview or panel discussion. It’s good to have more questions than you will need to fill the time, and then to put them in order of priority, so you ask the juiciest, most interesting questions at the beginning, middle and end of the interview or discussion. You want to lead people on a journey and keep them engaged.

5. Develop a preparation ritual to relax and center yourself before you begin your interview or panel discussion. No amount of research or knowledge will help you if you get so nervous that your body goes into “fight or flight” response and you forget what you’re saying. Having a ritual to help you control your breathing, relax your body and focus your thoughts will help you to center yourself so you can be more fully present and enjoy the moment.

6. Control the audience. If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who want to take the opportunity to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to a discussion. Be sure to bring the conversation back to the topic that the panel is discussing. You may have to politely cut someone off, but it can be done with grace.

Other articles that include tips that may interest anyone who wants to know how to be a great interviewer or moderator, are provided here:

6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Media Training Resources (communication studies and useful links)

https://expertmediatraining.com/media-training-resources/

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How to Ace Every Presentation

https://expertmediatraining.com/ace-every-presentation/

Individual or group training inquiries should be directed to [email protected]  or 310-479-0217.

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer and Speaker, on How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

If you enjoyed these tips on “How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator“, please share this article with your friends and followers using the buttons at the bottom of the page.

 

What Are We Saving It For? A Media Trainer’s Thoughts on Committing to the Moment

Sometimes we “save it.”

I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about the way we sometimes hold back on giving our all or going all out, in our day-to-day interactions, rather than committing to the moment.

But, what if this is it?

Every moment could be our last. Not to be a downer, but that’s the reality of life. We are all mortal.

So, what are we saving it for?

For people who take the spotlight, we know when we need to amp ourselves up before we make a presentation or take the stage.

But, do we still hold back just a little?

Or, do we sometimes take for granted our ability to turn it on moments before we need to, when maybe we could have brought even more depth if we had put in the time, given it more thought, shared more personally and thought more universally?

Here’s an inspiration for you. Jim Carrey’s wonderful commencement speech is worth watching, if you haven’t seen it yet.

I love that even though Jim Carrey is one of the most successful actors of our time, and that he’s naturally quite eloquent, it’s clear that he spent a significant amount of time developing the content of his speech and rehearsing so that he could take the audience on a magnificent, enlivening journey. His passion and desire to inspire are palpable.

Since most of us won’t be invited to deliver commencement speeches, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich wrote what she would like to say to a graduating class. Her inspiring, personal, and yet, widely resonant, words were put to music by Baz Luhrmann: the song, “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)” was one of 1999’s biggest hits.

Listen to it here, courtesy of VH1.

This line from the song/speech hit me when I first heard it: “Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.” I’ve often felt that my two sisters and my brother have been among my greatest influences in life. (My husband is grateful that my brother helped me develop an appreciation for juvenile humor.)

Great works of art and speeches like these remind me that most of us can simultaneously elevate our speech, allow ourselves to share the depths of our thoughts, and relax and enjoy the lightness of life.

We don’t have to mimic others. Each of us has a unique style and voice.

You don’t have to be just like anyone, except yourself.

Let’s commit to not allowing things to get in the way of having extraordinary interactions every day.

No more halfhearted conversations while our minds wander to our “to do” lists.

No more spouting platitudes because we don’t want to dig a little deeper and fully commit to the moment.

No more “saving it.”

Let’s each of us commit to bringing our full and wise, insightful, delightful selves to every interaction!

What do you think?

Here are some links to other articles that you may find interesting:

Body Language Do’s and Don’ts for Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication Tips from a Media Trainer

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

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

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

 

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

Woman looking out window, on Expert Media Training™ blog post on authenticity, by Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa EliaWhen I see women posting videos and announcing that they’re not wearing any make-up because they want to be authentic, I feel that is inauthentic. The presence or absence of cosmetics is not what determines the authenticity of one’s message; the truthfulness and honesty of the message is what makes it authentic.

Pretending you are not preparing yourself or your message is inauthentic. If you have the forethought to turn on your video camera and then post and share your video, is it really a spur-of-the-moment thought-share?

Isn’t it more authentic to present yourself the way you would present yourself for the public before you turn on your video camera?

Announcing that you are about to “be authentic” is also not necessary. Unless you are intimating that you are lying most of the time, shouldn’t we assume that you are being authentic and honest all of the time?

Preparing your message and yourself before you make any public statement, whether it’s a Facebook post, a YouTube video or a formal speech, does not make it, nor you, inauthentic. Preparation and the refinement of your message shows that you care about what you are communicating.

Authenticity is felt immediately. It doesn’t need to be announced.

Authenticity doesn’t need to be announced in media interviews or presentations either.

In media training sessions, we coach our clients to avoid saying, “honestly,” or “I’m going to be honest with you now,” because these words and phrases can beg the question, “Were you not being honest the rest of the time that you were speaking?”

People will trust you if you convey trustworthiness with your words and body language. You don’t need to ask them to trust you…unless you’ve betrayed their trust, in which case you would need more specific media training and strategy or crisis communication services.

You can follow everything you’ve learned in your media training or presentation training, and still communicate the messages that will lead you to your goals or address important issues.

Communicating with authenticity means letting go of pretense.

Los Angeles Media Trainer and Communication Expert Shares Body Language Do’s and Don’ts for Interviews and Meetings

The immediate feedback that you can receive with live media training is the best way to gain awareness of your body language, but the following tips will get you started.

Whether you’re meeting with a potential new client or a big decision maker who could change your life with a major deal, like an endorsement deal, a TV deal, or a book deal, paying attention to nonverbal communication (body language) can make or break the deal.

It is estimated that more than 90% of communication is nonverbal. People observe your nonverbal behaviors to determine whether you seem nervous, honest, confident, competent, and lots of other things.

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings - Nonverbal Communication - blog post by Los Angeles Media Trainer and PR Expert Lisa Elia

What’s your body saying?

Here are body language do’s and don’ts for meetings:

Body Language Don’ts in Meetings:

Don’t slouch, as doing so can make you appear sloppy, uninterested or lacking in confidence.

Don’t stand with most of your weight leaning to one side, as this can make you appear less confident and less steady.

Don’t tilt your head too much, as it makes you appear unsure.

Don’t look down while you’re listening, as many people do: this could make you appear disengaged.

Don’t cross your legs and your ankles simultaneously (as some very flexible people do), as it makes you appear insecure.

Don’t cross your arms in front of you, as this can make you appear defensive.

Don’t play with your jewelry or anything else.

Don’t fidget. Watch your feet: fidgety feet are often the strongest indicator of nervousness, and a good interviewer may pick up on this.

 

Body Language Do’s in Meetings:

Offer your hand for a firm handshake, at the beginning and end of a meeting. If the person you are meeting has his or her hands full, or if he or she doesn’t respond, simply lower your hand.

Sit and stand with straight, but not stiff, posture. Your ears should be aligned above your shoulders.

Make eye contact with the person you’re speaking to, but don’t stare. It’s natural to look away periodically for a second or two.

Smile when you say hello and goodbye, and when you are talking about your greatest achievements.

Nod slightly in agreement when the person you are meeting with is telling you about himself or herself or the company or project, and smile when appropriate. Your body language will show your enthusiasm for the opportunity, and this is one of the things that people want to see.

Pay attention to the person’s nonverbal behavior. For example, if the person you are meeting with begins to look away or look at his or her watch while you are speaking, finish what you are saying quickly.

Before you go into your interview, roll your shoulders back and forth, take a few calming breaths and stretch your neck and body. All of these things will help to relax you, keep you out of “fight or flight” mode, and reduce the tension that can cause the shoulders to hunch and the diaphragm to be compressed. By opening and relaxing the body, you should have a stronger, steadier voice, and you should feel and appear more confident.

If you tend to fidget, simply cross your ankles.

If you want to learn more about body language and to sharpen all of your communication skills, my Confident and Clear program could be just what you need. Click here for more information: https://expertmediatraining.com/confident-and-clear

If you want to learn about our media training and presentation training services, click here: https://expertmediatraining.com/services

 Contact us to arrange a consultation with Lisa.

Call us at 310-479-0217.

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