Facing the media on a one to one basis can be tough but delivering information in front of a press audience can be even harder. With a host of journalists in front of you, with any number or combination of questions that can be asked, keeping on track and avoiding mistakes is a difficult job.
Regular media training combined with good research and a solid strategy will always help. Addressing a press audience with a plan and great media training behind you will set you up for success, help you keep up with the questions and answer with your story without getting side-tracked on other agendas.
Here are some great tips to ease your nerves and handle the pressure well when it comes to addressing a press audience:
- Do Your Prep Well
Understanding your audience, whether they are the local press corps or a group of academics at a conference, is essential. You also need to know why you are here in great detail and what you are trying to achieve.
- Speak to those who will be giving a statement and answering questions before the event starts.
- If there is already information out there in the press, make sure you have a handle on it and know what is likely to come up.
- Particular journalists may pose problems and being aware of this should mean you are better prepared.
- Look at the room where the press audience are going to be gathered. If it’s a large space, you may have to work harder to project your voice.
- Do the simple things well such as making sure you get the names and pronunciation of the speakers right.
- Connect with Your Audience
As with any public meeting, engaging the audience is imperative. This can be difficult in a press conference where the attitude might be a little more hostile than you had hoped but if you can stay calm and on point you will find your answers easier.
A quick review of your media training notes before you start will help you gather your thoughts on how to engage with the press audience, here are some ways to engage well in this environment:
- Sett the ground rules when the press team are gathered can also help to start in the right atmosphere.
- It’s important to have control and be confident in your delivery.
- Allow journalists to get their questions across in full and give yourself the time you need to answer well.
- Dealing with Questions & Nerves
Questions are inevitable and often the trickiest part of any press interaction as you don’t know exactly what they will ask or how your prepared answers to expected questions will go down.
- Try to keep questions short and to the point can mean they are much easier to answer.
- Your methods of coping with nerves could include breathing exercises or even smiling when you talk to someone.
- Have a glass or bottle of water handy in case your mouth gets dry.
- Counting down from three to one is a good way to stop your voice squeaking when you first start.
Find what works for you and turn it into a routine. You’ll be surprised how much this will help quell those nerves. For great advice and training on how to handle all aspects of the press for your company or brand contact the experienced team at Hawkeye Media to see how they can ensure you don’t put a foot wrong with your press interactions.