ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
May 29, 2009

Interviewing With The Media? Prepare Your TV Comments in Advance


Media trainers often tell their clients to prepare simple three-part messages before going in front of a TV camera for media interviews. (I give the same advice.) In part, this is good advice for any media interview, whether it is TV, radio or print. But it is especially good advice for TV because there are so many nerve-racking things that can go on at a TV station or television network to make you lose your concentration. And if you can’t concentrate, you can’t think clearly. Hence, dumb things can come out of your mouth when the camera starts rolling.

A couple of years ago I was asked to be a guest expert on “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel to critique then President Bush’s body language during his meetings with French President Chirac. I’ve been in many a green room so I knew to expect the unexpected.

So I stood up to go get a cup of coffee down the hall. When I returned, the green room was overflowing with champion boxers, publicists, photographers and various hangers on. The 10′ x 10′ room was so full of people, I couldn’t get to my notes or research for the story I would be commenting on.

So what did I do?

Fortunately, I did all of my thinking in advance of ever walking into the TV studio. I was able to relax, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the TV network, secure in knowing that I already had many facts, opinions and insights prepared. I didn’t need a quiet place for last-minute preparation, so I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t get one.
Because if I had been counting on that final 10 minutes before air time to prepare my comments, there would have been only one reaction …

PANIC!

Watch the video below to find out how the interview went.

T.J. Walker, president, Media Training Worldwide. He is “the leading media and presentation trainer in the world,” and “the #1 expert for executives seeking guidance on speaking to the public and media,” according to quotes from Viacom and Bloomberg TV. T.J. has trained thousands of executives and government officials over the last 20 years.

Join Walker for his interactive webinar, Interactive Media Training: A New and Unique Way for You to Prepare for Your Next Media Appearance and for his on-site seminar, “Media Training Boot Camp: Control Your Message to Get the Quotes You Want,” on Friday, September 11, 2009 in New York, NY!

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