Preparation starts with training. There is no better preparation for a media interview than to be regularly upskilled in this area, once you have that in hand the immediate preparation before the interview becomes much easier.

Preparation before a media interview is always important and no matter how experienced you are or how much knowledge you have, you still need to prepare for every interview if you want them to be a success.

But what is meant by good preparation – here are some tips

Anticipate questions

The first thing to think about is the kind of questions that you are likely to be asked during the interview.  There are always those off-beat or negative questions that you can’t anticipate but in lots of cases, you can have a good idea of the kind of topics that will come up.

Then think about how you might answer them.  You don’t need to have a word-perfect response but just a general idea of what kind of things you want to say if you are asked this question or something similar.

Focus on the message

For every interview, you will have a central message that you want to get across.  It is important to be very clear on this and have a variety of ways to get the conversation from wherever it has gone and back to the message.

This should be something that resonates with the audience so try to use your own language where possible and cut back on the technical, complicated language as much as possible.  It also helps with fluency when you put the message into your own words, you find it easier to talk about.

Include examples where suitable

You want to include examples where suitable in your interview and these can be roughly prepared ahead of time.  These examples should support the central message of the interview while being relatable and human.

If possible, use your own stories or those of colleagues to help emphasise the message.  People connect with stories and can see themselves in others, so these often have a huge impact.  Plus those little examples and anecdotes make the company seem more real, with real people behind it.

Use statistic that people can visualise

Statistics are often very important but can be a bit hard to visualise.  How big is ‘x’ million square metres?  People can often ignore statistics when they have no meaning.  But when you transform them into something they can visualise, this helps.

Examples might include ‘x’ number of football pitches for sizes, the distance from London to another city for a distance and so on.  That way, people can visualise the measure you are using and make connections with the information you are giving them.

Practice Makes Perfect

The final part of preparing for an interview is to have a quick practice and review your training.  Don’t be afraid to sit in front of the mirror answering imaginary questions, handling those negative or strange questions and practising your message.  This helps you feel more confident and fluent and see your facial expressions when you answer those key questions.  Even working with a colleague to practice can be an important step.

For advice and custom media training packages created for your organisation, to ensure your team is always ready to talk to the media, contact Hawkeye today.