Media interviews for radio or TV tend to last just a few minutes. If you are trying to get across a complex issue or idea, this can present major challenges.
It is easy to panic if you are not prepared. That is why thinking about what you need to say, and how that will come across to your audience, is essential.
- The Benefits vs Features Approach
Many people being interviewed about a complex subject focus on what the features are. Telling someone what a technological invention or new healthcare breakthrough does, does not actually resonate with the audience.
The key here is to focus on what your announcement means for the individual and the impact on their needs. Let us say, you are launching new software. It doesn’t matter whether it has feature X or Y. What is important is what it does for the user?
It is useful to take the marketing approach of WIIFM or ‘what’s in it for me?’ here. Does it save time? Does it make life easier? If you have undertaken some healthcare research, how is it going to help people make better decisions or lead healthier lives?
- Tell a Story
We respond more to information when it has a narrative. Don’t be afraid to turn your complex idea or information into a story to get it across effectively. The best way to do this is to use everyday examples that resonate with your audience.
Don’t run off a list of attributes or things your new product or research can do, give your audience an example that brings it to life for them.
- Deciding What to Leave Out
What you omit from your media interview is almost as important as what you say. Too much information can obscure your real point and will mean that your audience quickly gets lost or gives up caring.
Self-editing is not easy at the best of times and many of us have trouble seeing the world from someone else’s point of view. But it is important. Here you are looking to pare everything down to the minimum you need to make sense and get your idea across so that it engages your audience.
- Use Simple Language
Even if your sector uses long words and obscure terminology, your media interview is not the place for this. Keep your language as simple as possible. A good tip is to pretend you are explaining the complex issue to a friend or family member who isn’t involved in your industry.
If you do have to use a complex term, make sure that you explain what it means and don’t just leave your audience hanging.
- Keep to the Point
Rambling is a common problem in any media interview, especially if you are not prepared properly. You may think that you are getting your point of view across clearly but the journalist or watching audience might not agree. Being prepared and practising your delivery beforehand can make a big difference.
It is also important to not rush your delivery. Yes, you may be interviewed on the radio or TV and time is short, but don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you. Don’t talk too quickly or try to throw in as much information as you can.
- Work with the Journalist
Especially if you are working with a journalist for print media, you can add information that outlines the clear points you want to get across. This can help avoid misunderstandings during your interview that means you are misquoted or give the wrong impression.
As with any media interview, preparation is key. It is important to get your complex idea down to the bare bones but still make it engaging for the audience. Simple language and a clear focus are absolutely essential. For engaging and effective media training contact Hawkeye Media today to discuss the needs of your organisation.