Being invited to give a media interview can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. It’s an important moment for your company or brand and you – an opportunity to reach a wider public and get your message across.

Media Training

A lot will depend on the reason for the interview. If you’re contributing to a conversation about a particular topic, it’s a chance to demonstrate your expertise. If you’re fending off a negative press story that has affected your business, you have the opportunity to set the record straight and get your point of view across.

What everything depends on are the answers you give to the interviewer’s questions. How do you get that right? Here are our top tips.

  1. Knowing What You Are Going to Say

While this might seem pretty obvious, it’s important to mention. Some people do try to fly by the seat of their pants and wing the interview – this is a mistake more often than not and means your messaging can end up being incoherent and messy.

People can also go to the other extreme, deeply rehearsing what they are going to say to particular questions. Unfortunately, this can make you sound stilted and as if you’re reading from a script.

You need to have an idea about what you are going to say but you want to speak in your real voice and be as loose as possible. That means you need to ditch the script and not be tied to it. Yes, by all means, have some set messaging you can roll out but keep it as natural as possible.

  1. Include Facts and Anecdotes

As a species, we’re hardwired for storytelling, so this is the type of information or conversation that gets a point across the most engagingly. Even more, we love a few facts thrown in that we can file away and use for later.

If you can bring these two assets into your interview, they can have a lot of power and say much about your brand in a way that simply repeating messaging points won’t. It also helps you present a more human face to the audience.

  1. Give Something New

If you want to impress an interviewer don’t just roll out the simple platitudes and answers that everyone else has done before. Tell them something new. Journalists love being the first to break the news and if you can give them an exclusive, you’ll make their day.

Journalists don’t really like interviewees who just throw out the same answers they’ve given to other outlets during the day (assuming you’re doing more than one interview). Try to find something fresh and engaging that will attract attention for each interview.

  1. The Curse of the Rambler

One of the big mistakes that interviewees make is that they start to ramble and go off on a tangent. Part of this may be down to nerves, another part is certainly about not being prepared enough. When an interviewer asks a question, it’s important to answer as best you can and not to drift off the point or add in stuff that is not relevant.

  1. Be Genuine

Finally, the big tip for a successful media interview is to be yourself and that means being a little more open and honest with your answers. Remember, you’re having a conversation, it just happens to be in front of a microphone – don’t try to sound different from normal and don’t try to be someone you’re not.