Now that you have a few media interviews under your belt it is time to up your game. But before you say yes to the networks or Wall Street Journal let’s review the nuanced subtleties that will have you graduate to the “Interview Master Class.”
Never say Again, Again
The one word that has me instantaneously tuning out of a media interview is “again.” This quickly tells me that I am about to hear a rerun of what I just heard. The question is, why should I listen? Retreading that old tire is a surefire way to get a channel switch.
Human attention spans are approaching that of a goldfish. A Microsoft study concluded that the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years. Social media has practically hijacked our ability to focus, feeding our desire for instant mental gratification. This affects our brain’s ability to concentrate on anything we deem less interesting.
A precursor like “again”, “as I’ve said before,” or “let me repeat myself,” are non-starters and subconsciously signals to your audience that they’re about to receive a regurgitation of the same old content. Instead, drop the word “again”, and repeat your initial answer using different words.
The Power of the Pause
Instead of rushing to respond to an interviewer’s question take a moment to pause. Silence is golden. A pause can be so powerful, it gets your audience’s attention. However, it has been my experience that humans are uncomfortable with silence and will say practically anything to fill the void. Please fight the temptation!
Pausing, will not only make you more commanding but will also keep you out of trouble, preventing you from rambling on, repeating yourself, or saying something inappropriate.
Prepare and Practice and Practice Again
It is an amazing fact that practice makes everyone more relaxed, and less nervous. Write out your responses in advance to questions you expect and don’t expect to be asked. Perform an “environmental scan;” look for current events that may become a hook for your topic. Journalists look for a story that is relevant to a bigger existing headline.
Be conversational. Practice will make you more comfortable with the content and therefore naturally make you more human, likable, and approachable.
Finally, have fun with a media interview. It will give you a rare opportunity to represent your wonderful self, and your brand.