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MMC tips for media interviews

Here are a few tips from our media team about media interviews. They are not comprehensive, but a snapshot of the advice we provide our MMC Essential Media Toolkit™ coaching. They mostly relate to ‘close quarter’ situations, but the best results will certainly come from adopting a long-term strategy, planning and training to ensure you have the communication skills you need embedded in your organisation.

A Media Contributors guide

In advance
1. Always prepare for an interview. Know what you want to say and stick to it. Keep to no more than three key messages.
2. Check in advance what the likely line of questioning will be. It is not a sign of weakness.
3. Check your appearance. Ruffled hair, loosely knotted ties or revealing tops are a distraction. Do not wear closely striped or chequed clothing affects the TV picture and looks peculiar.

The interview
4. Keep it simple. Clumsy phrases switch off audiences and don’t connect.
5. Use familiar language, not jargon. It is a turn-off.
6. Be confident and say what you have to say with relaxed conviction. But avoid over-stressing – viewers may interpret over-eagerness as unconvincing, light-weight or even suspicious.
7. Regardless of the questions, make sure you deliver your key messages. Repeat them if necessary.
8. Theme what you are saying to the audience that will be hearing, viewing or reading your interview.
9. Keep focused on the reporter or presenter. Wandering eyes are shifty.
10. Don’t rattle your keys or change in your pockets. Microphones are sensitive and will pick it up.

Good Habits
11. Don’t EVER go off the record. It is very dangerous.
12. When you’re anywhere near a camera crew ALWAYS assume you may be being recorded.
13. Consider all interviews to be LIVE. Once you start asking for re-takes in a recorded interview, you will begin to unravel.

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